- Recommendation ID
What are the harms and adverse effects associated with different digital and mobile health behaviour change interventions?
- Any explanatory notes
Why the committee made the recommendations
There is limited evidence on why and when people engage with and disengage from digital and mobile health interventions. This is important because initial engagement is lower in people with lower socioeconomic status, and there may be other members of the population not currently visible to services.
The committee agreed that research into ways that healthcare professionals can identify and encourage people to engage with and continue using digital and mobile health interventions is needed (see the recommendation for research on engaging people with digital and mobile health interventions).
The committee was aware that specific components or characteristics may be more effective at changing or targeting specific behaviours. Evidence on this is complex, and digital and mobile health interventions is a rapidly changing field. The committee agreed that research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of specific components and characteristics (see the recommendation for research on effective components of behaviour change interventions).
There is limited information on the effectiveness of digital and mobile health interventions for different socioeconomic groups, people with disabilities or underserved populations. The committee discussed the potential difficulties with recruitment and possible additional costs associated with reaching underserved populations. They agreed that more information on this topic would help to tackle health inequalities (see the recommendation for research on effects of behaviour change interventions on low socioeconomic and other underserved groups).
The committee agreed that, as the field develops, it will be helpful to know if there are specific groups that may get as much benefit from digital and mobile health interventions used alone as they would from existing services. This question is more significant in light of the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic because the committee expect more people to consider using remote interventions (see the recommendation for research on populations that will benefit most from digital and mobile health interventions).
No published evidence was found on adverse effects or potential harms for any of the behaviour change areas considered. The committee discussed this and heard from expert testimony about potential harms related to digital and mobile health interventions. The committee noted that more published research is needed on harms, adverse effects or unintended consequences (see the recommendation for research on harms of behaviour change using digital and mobile health interventions).
Source guidance details
- Comes from guidance
- Behaviour change: digital and mobile health interventions
- Date issued
- October 2020
|Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research?||No|
|Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?||No|