Exploring the use of information and communication technology by people with mood disorder: a systematic review and metasynthesis

Hamish Fulford, Linda McSwiggan, Thilo Kroll, Stephen MacGillivray (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    BACKGROUND: There is a growing body of evidence relating to how information and communication technology (ICT) can be used to support people with physical health conditions. Less is known regarding mental health, and in particular, mood disorder.

    OBJECTIVE: To conduct a metasynthesis of all qualitative studies exploring the use of ICTs by people with mood disorder.

    METHODS: Searches were run in eight electronic databases using a systematic search strategy. Qualitative and mixed-method studies published in English between 2007 and 2014 were included. Thematic synthesis was used to interpret and synthesis the results of the included studies.

    RESULTS: Thirty-four studies were included in the synthesis. The methodological design of the studies was qualitative or mixed-methods. A global assessment of study quality identified 22 studies as strong and 12 weak with most having a typology of findings either at topical or thematic survey levels of data transformation. A typology of ICT use by people with mood disorder was created as a result of synthesis.

    CONCLUSIONS: The systematic review and metasynthesis clearly identified a gap in the research literature as no studies were identified, which specifically researched how people with mood disorder use mobile ICT. Further qualitative research is recommended to understand the meaning this type of technology holds for people. Such research might provide valuable information on how people use mobile technology in their lives in general and also, more specifically, how they are being used to help with their mood disorders.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere30
    Number of pages15
    JournalJMIR Mental Health
    Issue number3
    Early online date1 Jul 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • information and communication technology
    • ICTs
    • mood disorder
    • metasynthesis
    • self-management


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