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A survey of eMedia-delivered interventions for schizophrenia used in randomized controlled trials

Authors Naeem F, Munshi T, Xiang S, Yang M, Shokraneh F, Syed Y, Ayub M, Adams CE, Farooq S

Received 27 June 2016

Accepted for publication 12 October 2016

Published 27 January 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 233—243


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Farooq Naeem,1 Tariq Munshi,1 Shuo Xiang,1 Megan Yang,1 Farhad Shokraneh,2 Yumeen Syed,3 Muhammad Ayub,1 Clive E Adams,4 Saeed Farooq5

1Department of Psychiatry, Queens University, Kingston, ON, Canada; 2Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham, UK; 3Trenlogic, Toronto, ON, Canada; 4Nottingham University, Nottingham, 5Keele University, Stafford, UK

Background: Randomized trials evaluating electronic Media (eMedia) delivery of interventions are increasingly frequent in mental health. Although a number of reviews have reported efficacy of these interventions, none has reviewed the type of eMedia interventions and quality of their description. We therefore decided to conduct a survey of eMedia-delivered interventions for schizophrenia.
Methods: We surveyed all relevant trials reliably identified in the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group’s comprehensive register of trials by authors working independently. Data were extracted regarding the size of the trial, interventions, outcomes and how well the intervention was described.
Results: eMedia delivery of interventions is increasingly frequent in trials relevant to the care of people with schizophrenia. The trials varied considerably in sample sizes (mean =123, median =87, range =20–507), and interventions were diverse, rarely evaluating the same approaches and were poorly reported. This makes replication impossible. Outcomes in these studies are limited, have not been noted to be chosen by end users and seem unlikely to be easy to apply in routine care. No study reported on potential adverse effects or cost, end users satisfaction or ease of use. None of the papers mentioned the use of CONSORT eHealth guidelines.
Conclusion: There is a need to improve reporting and testing of psychosocial interventions delivered by eMedia. New trials should comply with CONSORT eHealth guidance on design, conduct and reporting, and existing CONSORT should be updated regularly, as the field is constantly evolving.

Keywords: randomized trials, survey, eMedia, information technology, schizophrenia, methodology

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