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Apps targeting anorexia nervosa in young people: a systematic review of active ingredients

Chiang, Clara P; Hayes, Daniel; Panagiotopoulou, Elena; (2023) Apps targeting anorexia nervosa in young people: a systematic review of active ingredients. Translational Behavioral Medicine 10.1093/tbm/ibad003. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Evaluating the presence of behavior change techniques (BCTs) in mHealth apps could be used to better understand what “active ingredients” contribute to outcomes. Despite the early onset of Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and the increasing use of mobile apps to seek mental healthcare among young people, BCTs underpinning mHealth apps targeting AN have never been systematically examined. This review systematically identified and analyzed BCTs underpinning apps targeted at reducing AN in young people in an attempt to understand their active components. Apps were searched and screened in Apple Store and Google Play. Six apps that met the inclusion criteria and were coded by trained researchers against the BCT Taxonomy V1. Overall, 22 of 93 possible BCTs were identified. The most common were “Information about health consequences,” “Social support (unspecified),” and “Information about antecedents”. Identified BCTs suggested potential overlaps with traditional clinical treatments for AN, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and family-based therapy. Further investigation is required to evaluate the apps’ usability and effectiveness.

Type: Article
Title: Apps targeting anorexia nervosa in young people: a systematic review of active ingredients
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/tbm/ibad003
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/tbm/ibad003
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Anorexia nervosa, mHealth, Behavior change techniques
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10164765
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