The impact of eHealth group interventions on the mental, behavioral, and physical health of adults: A systematic review protocol

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Currie, Cheryl L.
Larouche, Richard
Voss, M. Lauren
Higa, Erin K.
Spiwak, Rae
Scott, David R.
Tallow, Treena
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BioMed Central
Background: COVID-19 has resulted in an increased demand for eHealth services globally. There is emerging evidence for the efficacy for group eHealth interventions that support population-based mental health and wellbeing, but a systematic review is lacking. The primary objective of this systematic review is to summarize the evidence for eHealth group counseling and coaching programs for adults. A second objective is to assess, within studies selected for our primary objective, the impact of programs that encourage PA on outcomes compared to those that do not. Methods: Randomized controlled trials that assess the impact of eHealth group counseling or coaching programs on mental health, health behavior, or physical health activity among community-dwelling adults will be included. We will search the following electronic databases (from January 2005 onwards): MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINHAL, and the Central Register of Controlled Trials. The primary outcomes will be changes in mental health conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety, stress, quality of life), behavioral health conditions (e.g., substance use, smoking, sexual behavior, eating behavior, medication adherence), and physical health conditions (e.g., coping with cancer, menopausal symptoms, arthritis pain). Secondary outcomes will be changes in physical activity. Two reviewers will independently screen all citations, full-text articles, and abstract data. Potential conflicts will be resolved through discussion with a third reviewer. A narrative synthesis without meta-analysis will be conducted. The strength of the body of evidence will be assessed using GRADE. The risk of bias in individual studies will be appraised using the Cochrane Risk of Bias 2.0 tool. Potential sources of gender bias in included studies will be considered at all stages of the planned review. Discussion: This review will contribute to the literature by providing evidence on the effectiveness of eHealth counseling and coaching programs delivered to adults in a group format.
Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) applies
Substance use , Mental health , eHealth , Group counseling , Systematic review , Physical activity
Currie, C. L., Larouche, R., Voss, M. L., Higa, E. K., Spiwak, R., Scott, D., & Tallow, T. (2020). The impact of eHealth group interventions on the mental, behavioral, and physical health of adults: A systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 9:217.