Qin M, Chen B, Sun S, Liu X.Effect of Mobile Phone App–Based Interventions on Quality of Life and Psychological Symptoms Among Adult Cancer Survivors: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Med Internet Res 2022;24(12):e39799 DOI: 10.2196/39799
A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of mobile phone app interventions on quality of life (QOL) and psychological outcomes in adult cancer patients. Researchers identified randomized controlled trial studies evaluating apps that targeted adults with cancer and QOL or psychological symptoms. In total, 30 randomized controlled trials with a total of 5,353 patients were included in the meta-analysis. App interventions included health education, physician-patient communication, or data management regarding patient self-monitoring behaviors. On average, interventions were conducted over 2.8 months. Compared with standard care, app interventions significantly improved QOL (Standardized Mean Difference (SMD)=0.39, p<.001) and self-efficacy (SMD=0.15, p=.03) and reduced anxiety (SMD=0.64, p<.001), depression (SMD=-0.33, p=.009), and distress (SMD=-0.34, p=.01) symptoms. Subgroup analyses were also conducted for intervention duration, type of cancer, theoretical approach, treatment category, and intervention delivery (interactive 2-way communication format versus 1-way communication format). Short-term (<3 months) interventions were found to have higher effectiveness compared to longer term interventions for QOL, anxiety and depression. However, given that only 9 studies were longer than 3 months, there is a need for further research on the long-term effects of these app interventions. Apps that included physician-patient communication and that were based on cognitive behavioral therapy were most effective for improving QOL and psychological outcomes. Overall, results provide evidence for the effectiveness of mobile phone app interventions on QOL and psychological outcomes, however caution is needed in the over-interpretation of findings due to high heterogeneity across the studies.