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Characteristics and Potential Challenges of Digital-Based Interventions for Children and Young People: Scoping Review

 Jinsoo Yun  ;  Jaeyong Shin  ;  Hyerim Lee  ;  Dai-Jin Kim  ;  In-Young Choi  ;  Meelim Kim 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Adolescent ; Child ; Female ; Humans ; Male ; Mental Health* ; Smartphone*
children and young people ; digital health ; digital intervention ; ethical challenge ; interpersonal challenge ; societal challenge
BACKGROUND: Digital health technologies are becoming increasingly available to children and young people and their families. However, there are no scoping reviews that provide both an overview of the characteristics of digital interventions for children and young people and potential challenges to be considered when developing and implementing them. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to systematically review scientific publications to identify the current characteristics and potential complications of digital interventions for children and young people. METHODS: This scoping review was conducted using the framework of Arksey and O'Malley and adheres to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines for scoping reviews. A search of 5 databases (PubMed, Scopus, Embase, MEDLINE, and CINAHL) and Google Scholar was performed for eligible clinical trials published between January 1, 2018, and August 19, 2022. RESULTS: The initial search of the 5 databases yielded 3775 citations; duplicates and those not meeting the inclusion criteria were eliminated. In total, 34 articles were included in the final review and relevant information, such as the descriptive characteristics and potential challenges, were classified. Mental health (26/34, 76%) was the most common target for the digital intervention for children and young people, exceeding physical health (8/34, 24%) by more than 3 times. In addition, a substantial number of digital interventions were dedicated solely to children and young people. Digital interventions for children and young people were more likely to be delivered via computers (17/34, 50%) rather than smartphones (13/34, 38%). More than one-third of the studies (13/34, 38%) applied cognitive behavioral theory as the theory of digital interventions. The duration of the digital intervention for children and young people was more likely to vary depending on the target user rather than the target disease. Intervention components were classified into 5 categories: guidance, task and activity, reminder and monitoring, supportive feedback, and reward system. Potential challenges were subcategorized into ethical, interpersonal, and societal challenges. For ethical challenges, the consent of children and young people or caregivers, potential risk of adverse events, and data privacy issues were considered. For interpersonal challenges, the engagement of children and young people was affected by the preference or barrier of caregivers to participate in studies. For societal challenges, restricted ethnicity in recruitment, limited availability of digital technology, differences in internet use patterns between girls and boys, unified clinical settings, and language barriers were described. CONCLUSIONS: We identified potential challenges and provided suggestions about ethical, interpersonal, and societal aspects to consider when developing and deploying digital-based interventions for children and young people. Our findings provide a thorough overview of the published literature and may serve as a comprehensive, informative foundation for the development and implementation of digital-based interventions for children and young people. ©Jinsoo Yun, Jaeyong Shin, Hyerim Lee, Dai-Jin Kim, In-Young Choi, Meelim Kim. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (https://www.jmir.org), 14.04.2023.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Shin, Jae Yong(신재용) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2955-6382
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