Informaticopia

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Effectiveness of Web-Based vs. Non-Web-Based Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Behavioral Change Outcomes

The Effectiveness of Web-Based vs. Non-Web-Based Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Behavioral Change Outcomes

An interesting article has just been published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, which disputes the recent Cochrane review in concluding that web-based interventions change behavior and affect outcomes positively.

Dean J Wantland, Carmen J Portillo, William L Holzemer, Rob Slaughter, Eva M McGhee conducted a "meta-analysis to provide further information on patient/client knowledge and behavioral change outcomes after Web-based interventions as compared to outcomes seen after implementation of non-Web-based interventions".

"Sixteen of the 17 studied effect outcomes revealed improved knowledge and/or improved behavioral outcomes for participants using the Web-based interventions."

"The effect size comparisons in the use of Web-based interventions compared to non-Web-based interventions showed an improvement in outcomes for individuals using Web-based interventions to achieve the specified knowledge and/or behavior change for the studied outcome variables. These outcomes included increased exercise time, increased knowledge of nutritional status, increased knowledge of asthma treatment, increased participation in healthcare, slower health decline, improved body shape perception, and 18-month weight loss maintenance."

If these findinjgs acurately represent the world we are now living in more investment in these sorts of theraputic interventions may provide a cost effective addition to traditional approaches.

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