Health cares mobile technologies generate substantial benefits to the processes of health care delivery. This research is a meta-analysis and systematic review of controlled trials of mobile technology interventions that could sufficiently link emotionally distressed people living with HIV/AIDs (PLWHA) to mental health services. This is without the need for them to be physically present in a mental health care facility.
This research focused on all controlled trials of mobile technology-based health interventions appropriate for linking PLWHAs to various mental health services by using the MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, UK NHS HTA, Global Health as well as Web of Science databases. The period covered was from January 2006 to January 2017. As the primary author of the research, I extracted the data collected from the research independently on blinding, measures of effect, allocation concealment, follow-up of completeness as well as the allocation of the sequence. Also, so as to yield pooled estimates in the results, I calculated the effect estimates using random effects meta-analysis. In addition, a 14 controlled trials were identified, and none portrayed a low of a level of risk of biases.
The results of the review illustrated that health care services providers support the employment of the mobile health care intervention tools as effective strategies for provisioning mental health assistance to PLWHAs. Some of the most effective mobile technology functions employed for the interventions included SMS, MMS and photo-based appointment reminders for the patients. Nevertheless, it was ascertained that enhanced quality and standardized clinically controlled trials experiments illustrating the outcomes of various mobile technology interventions is required.
With the current advancements in the ICT sector, the usage of mobile computing technologies in various health care delivery institutions have increased significantly CITATION Kha12 \l 1033 (Khalil, 2012). Numerous institutions today have developed a growing enthusiasm in the usage of mobile health technology interventions, as effective strategies for health care services delivery CITATION Jul03 \l 1033 (Mariga, 2003). Over the last decade, the increased beneficial effects of using mobile health interventions for the health service delivery process has enhanced the rate and quality of service delivery to patients in the medical institutions CITATION Hou14 \l 1033 (Househ, 2014). Also, the usage of this new methodology has been particularly successful in resource-poor settings, where patients cannot physically access essential health care amenities due to financial or economic constraints CITATION Rod12 \l 1033 (Rodrigues, 2012).
The use of mobile technologies in medical institutions for provisioning of health care interventions have been facilitated through telecommunication devices, such as Personal Digital Assistances (PDA) CITATION Sta09 \l 1033 (Staudinger, 2009). It has also been facilitated through PDA phones such as the BlackBerry as well as the Palm Pilot, and also through smartphones such as iPhones CITATION Sta09 \l 1033 (Staudinger, 2009). Also, some medical institutions have adopted the usage of Enterprise Digital Assistants (EDA) as well as portable media players such as iPods for the issuance of health care interventions CITATION Sal11 \l 1033 (Salah & Lepri, 2011). Ultimately, the usage of ultra-portable computers, such as tablet PCs, have also been employed by some hospitals in the United States to offer essential health care services to patients CITATION Sal11 \l 1033 (Salah & Lepri, 2011).
The current telecommunication devices have been developed using enhanced technologies to support multiple functions on a single device CITATION Mor09 \l 1033 (Morreale & Terplan, 2009). Such functions include mobile cellular communication capabilities, such as sending text messages through SMS as well as sharing of photos and videos via MMS CITATION Mor09 \l 1033 (Morreale & Terplan, 2009). Also, the devices can be employed for making telephone calls, for accessing World Wide Web as well as multimedia playback functionalities. In addition, such telecommunication devices are capable of software application support. Through enhanced computer processing power, a mobile device, such as a mini-portable computer like an iPad, can support multiple high-level performance, health care intervention applications CITATION Mor09 \l 1033 (Morreale & Terplan, 2009).
For this primary reason, mobile health interventions have been structured to provide support and health care services to patients using various mobile device applications. Also, some of the essential health care services offered to patients through mobile devices include healthcare education, patient management services as well as support services in diagnosis CITATION Bar12 \l 1033 (Fischhoff, 2012). In addition, telecommunication devices have also been used by medical institutions as a means of communication between the doctors and patients on matters such as appointment reminders and test result announcements CITATION Bar12 \l 1033 (Fischhoff, 2012).
In addition, there are several distinctive features that have made mobile technologies to be particularly appropriate for health care services delivery. Such factors are inclusive of the mobile devices popularity, their technological potential as well as their portability potential CITATION Bri16 \l 1033 (Briz-Ponce, et al., 2016). Such popularity features have resulted in great demand for ownership of mobile telecommunication devices by millions of people around the world. This means that health care institutions can deliver medical interventions to large numbers of persons in different parts of the world through mobile devices conveniently.
According to research performed by Statista (2016), approximately 2.1 billion persons possessed smartphones in 2016. This value was projected to increase to 2.87 billion by the year 2020 CITATION Sta16 \l 1033 (Statistica, 2016). In addition, in 2009, over two-thirds of all people in the world possessed a mobile phone device CITATION Sta16 \l 1033 (Statistica, 2016). In addition, over 4.2 trillion SMS messages were sent by people using mobile phones during the same year CITATION Sta16 \l 1033 (Statistica, 2016). Also, in numerous developed nations, the number of smartphone subscriptions far overpasses the respective nations population. In addition, in third-world countries, the mobile telecommunication industry is among the most vibrant and fastest growing sectors in their economies.
The popularity of mobile telecommunication technologies is immensely facilitated by the fact that persons can carry their mobile phones with them in all places they go. Consequently, this facilitates a temporal synchronization of medical service interventions with other features hosted on such mobile devices CITATION Phi12 \l 1033 (Phillip & Battelino, 2012). As such, the facilitated healthcare interventions can capture peoples attention at any particular time and when it is most relevant. For instance, medical practitioners can send their patients reminders pertaining to their medical appointments, either a day before the appointment or in the morning of the appointment day. Such devices also facilitate real-time communication by ensuring that various health care interventions can be accessed or delivered within a specified relevant context. This means that a particular intervention can be accessed by a patient when its required.
Mobile phone applications are also appropriate in providing clinical interventions to patients in situations where a specialist or medical practitioner cannot be physically accessed CITATION Fan05 \l 1033 (Fanjiang, et al., 2005). Such are cases where a patient requires the assistance of a doctor at night or during the weekends. As such, since patients can easily transport mobile technologies, inaccessible doctors can use them to offer medical interventions to their patients. In addition, mobile technological capabilities as effective strategies for medical interventions are continuing to advance at a rapid rate. Today, telecommunication interventions also facilitate low-cost interventions CITATION Fan05 \l 1033 (Fanjiang, et al., 2005). This is because they can facilitate the advantages of economies of scale and as such, they are remarkably convenient and affordable to offer interventions to large groupings of patients.
In the past, some of the mobile technological features that have been employed for health interventions are inclusive of multiple media data interventions such as SMS and photos CITATION QAs13 \l 1033 (Acton, 2013). Some health care institutions have also used software applications and text messages interventions as an effective methodology of reaching the targeted patients. In addition, with the rapid advancement in technology today, it is no longer relevant to perform a review of a specific mobile telecommunication device as a method of offering intervention. This is because specific devices often become outdated with respect to their functions over time. As such they are often replaced by updated versions on newer devices. However, current research on the effectiveness of employing mobile technologies as effective strategies for providing health care interventions is lacking.
Past research has illustrated that most persons who have HIV and AIDS normally undergo through depression CITATION Gre13 \l 1033 (Greene & Goodrich-Dunn, 2013). In most cases, their depression can be attributed to the daily stress of consuming antiretroviral drugs and stigmatization by the public members due to their HIV status condition CITATION Gre13 \l 1033 (Greene & Goodrich-Dunn, 2013). As such, such people normally require adequate mental health care for them to be in a position to cope up with their conditions. In addition, despite the willingness of such people to acquire mental care therapy, the majority of them are unable to secure quality mental health care from competent health care practitioners.
This is normally attributed to factors such as lack of insurance cover, lack of finances to pay for such essential health care services as well as the lack of mental health specialists in proximity. In order to remedy this problem, mobile health technologies can be employed as an effective means of improving rapid response for mental health care services for persons who have HIV/AIDS CITATION Gre13 \l 1033 (Greene & Goodrich-Dunn, 2013). This research will aim at conducting and interpreting a systematic review of controlled trials of mobile technology interventions, which could sufficiently link emotionally distressed people living with HIV/AIDs to mental health care services. This is without the need for such patients to be physically present in a mental health care treatment facility.
The research study undertaken adhered to all the research guidelines that had been published for the research. The people who were used as the participants for the research were both men and women of all ages. The clinically controlled trials that were employed during the research were those incorporating mobile technology interventions. In this case, the mobile devices considered included PDAs, PDA phones, smartphones, digital assistants, ultraportable computers, video-game consoles as well as mobile media players. In addition, the devices in the clinically controlled trials were only considered if they were used to promote the mental health status of the PLWHAs. All the clinically controlled trials that featured the stated mobile technologies were included regardless of their status o...
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