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Effectiveness of online and mobile telephone applications ('apps') for the self-management of suicidal ideation and self-harm: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Witt, Katrina, Spittal, Matthew J., Carter, Gregory, Pirkis, Jane, Hetrick, Sarah, Currier, Dianne, Robinson, Jo and Milner, Allison 2017, Effectiveness of online and mobile telephone applications ('apps') for the self-management of suicidal ideation and self-harm: a systematic review and meta-analysis, BMC psychiatry, vol. 17, pp. 1-18, doi: 10.1186/s12888-017-1458-0.

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Title Effectiveness of online and mobile telephone applications ('apps') for the self-management of suicidal ideation and self-harm: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Author(s) Witt, Katrina
Spittal, Matthew J.
Carter, Gregory
Pirkis, Jane
Hetrick, Sarah
Currier, Dianne
Robinson, Jo
Milner, AllisonORCID iD for Milner, Allison orcid.org/0000-0003-4657-0503
Journal name BMC psychiatry
Volume number 17
Article ID 297
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-08-15
ISSN 1471-244X
Keyword(s) Application
Digital
Mobile telephone
Self-harm
Suicide
Suicide ideation
Mobile Applications
Self-Injurious Behavior
Self-Management
Suicidal Ideation
Suicide, Attempted
Summary Background
Online and mobile telephone applications (‘apps’) have the potential to improve the scalability of effective interventions for suicidal ideation and self-harm. The aim of this review was therefore to investigate the effectiveness of digital interventions for the self-management of suicidal ideation or self-harm.

Methods
Seven databases (Applied Science & Technology; CENTRAL; CRESP; Embase; Global Health; PsycARTICLES; PsycINFO; Medline) were searched to 31 March, 2017. Studies that examined the effectiveness of digital interventions for suicidal ideation and/or self-harm, or which reported outcome data for suicidal ideation and/or self-harm, within a randomised controlled trial (RCT), pseudo-RCT, or observational pre-test/post-test design were included in the review.

Results
Fourteen non-overlapping studies were included, reporting data from a total of 3,356 participants. Overall, digital interventions were associated with reductions for suicidal ideation scores at post-intervention. There was no evidence of a treatment effect for self-harm or attempted suicide.

Conclusions
Most studies were biased in relation to at least one aspect of study design, and particularly the domains of participant, clinical personnel, and outcome assessor blinding. Performance and detection bias therefore cannot be ruled out. Digital interventions for suicidal ideation and self-harm may be more effective than waitlist control. It is unclear whether these reductions would be clinically meaningful at present. Further evidence, particularly with regards to the potential mechanisms of action of these interventions, as well as safety, is required before these interventions could recommended.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12888-017-1458-0
Field of Research 1103 Clinical Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30109448

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Population Health
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.