According to the findings of a series of new studies exploring the impact of electronic media on teen health interventions, mobile can profoundly influence the rate of positive health choices made by youngsters in possession of mobile devices.
17 of 19 studies on the influence of mobile showed some improvement in a wide variety of teen behaviors and choices.
Nineteen studies met the criteria and focused on at least 1 behavior change outcome. The focus was interventions related to physical activity and/or nutrition in 7 studies, on asthma in 6, safety behaviors in 3, sexual risk behaviors in 2, and diabetes mellitus in 1. Seventeen studies reported at least 1 statistically significant effect on behavior change outcomes, including an increase in fruit, juice, or vegetable consumption; an increase in physical activity; improved asthma self-management; acquisition of street and fire safety skills; and sexual abstinence.
5 of the 19 studies were rated as excellent, confirmed Kimberly Hieftje, PhD, of Yale University, and her colleagues.
“Our systematic review suggests that interventions using electronic media can improve health and safety behaviors in young persons, but there is a need for higher-quality, rigorous interventions that promote behavior change,” they concluded in their summary.
The findings, which were published in JAMA Pediatrics, can be reviewed here.