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The effects of mobile technology-based support on young women with depressive symptoms: A block randomized controlled trial

Medicine (Baltimore). 2024 Jan 5;103(1):e36748. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000036748.


BACKGROUND: The current body of knowledge highlights the potential role of mobile technology as a medium to deliver support for psychological and physical health. This study evaluated the influence of mobile technology support on depressive symptoms and physical activity in female university students.

METHODS: A block randomized controlled trial design with a single site was used. Ninety-nine participants were block-randomized into 3 arms: Experimental Group 1 (emotional and informational support group), Experimental Group 2 (informational support group), and the control group. Interventions were delivered via mobile technology for 2 weeks. Data on depressive symptoms and physical activity were collected from 84 participants at baseline and on Days 8 and 15. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, t tests, one-way analysis of variance, and repeated-measures analysis of variance.

RESULTS: This study showed no interaction effect of time and group on depressive symptom scores and physical activity, considering the emotional and informational support from mobile technology. However, Experimental Group 1 exhibited a significant reduction in depressive symptoms during the first week of the study compared to Experimental Group 2 and the control group. While physical activity in Experimental Group 2 and control group increased only during the first week of the study and subsequently decreased, Experimental Group 1 showed an initial increase during the first week that was sustained into the second week.

CONCLUSIONS: Since informational and emotional support showed a strong effect over a short period of time, mobile technology offering emotional support could be used to provide crisis interventions for depression among young women when a short-term impact is required.

PMID:38181292 | DOI:10.1097/MD.0000000000036748

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