Acceptability and Effectiveness of NHS-Recommended e-Therapies for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress: Meta-Analysis.

SIMMONDS-BUCKLEY, Melanie, BENNION, Matthew Russell, KELLETT, Stephen, MILLINGS, Abigail, HARDY, Gillian E. and MOORE, Roger K. (2020). Acceptability and Effectiveness of NHS-Recommended e-Therapies for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress: Meta-Analysis. Journal of medical internet research, 22 (10), e17049.

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Open Access URL: https://www.jmir.org/2020/10/e17049 (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.2196/17049
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    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: There is a disconnect between the ability to swiftly develop e-therapies for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and stress, and the scrupulous evaluation of their clinical utility. This creates a risk that the e-therapies routinely provided within publicly funded psychological health care have evaded appropriate rigorous evaluation in their development. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to conduct a meta-analytic review of the gold standard evidence of the acceptability and clinical effectiveness of e-therapies recommended for use in the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom. METHODS: Systematic searches identified appropriate randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Depression, anxiety, and stress outcomes at the end of treatment and follow-up were synthesized using a random-effects meta-analysis. The grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation approach was used to assess the quality of each meta-analytic comparison. Moderators of treatment effect were examined using subgroup and meta-regression analysis. Dropout rates for e-therapies (as a proxy for acceptability) were compared against controls. RESULTS: A total of 24 studies evaluating 7 of 48 NHS-recommended e-therapies were qualitatively and quantitatively synthesized. Depression, anxiety, and stress outcomes for e-therapies were superior to controls (depression: standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.38, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.52, N=7075; anxiety and stress: SMD 0.43, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.63, n=4863), and these small effects were maintained at follow-up. Average dropout rates for e-therapies (31%, SD 17.35) were significantly higher than those of controls (17%, SD 13.31). Limited moderators of the treatment effect were found. CONCLUSIONS: Many NHS-recommended e-therapies have not been through an RCT-style evaluation. The e-therapies that have been appropriately evaluated generate small but significant, durable, beneficial treatment effects. TRIAL REGISTRATION: International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) registration CRD42019130184; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=130184.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: National Health Service; anxiety; depression; e-therapy; meta-analysis; mobile phone; treatment effectiveness; 08 Information and Computing Sciences; 11 Medical and Health Sciences; 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences; Medical Informatics
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.2196/17049
    Page Range: e17049
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2020 16:40
    Last Modified: 09 Nov 2020 16:45
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27568

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