The Effect of Mobile Technological Solutions for the Improvement of Student Mental Health and Well-being: A Systematic Literature Review
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BackgroundThere is a growing number of students struggling with mental health issues during their education, which can lead to a number of both personal issues and issues for the general society. To counter this, one possibility is to provide digital solutions that offer the option for students to self-manage their mental health. Mobile health (mHealth) solutions are becoming more and more popular as a form of self-help intervention. However, most of these solutions are developed without any empirical research backing their design or features. To improve the development of these mobile solutions it is important to know what is effective, and what features the solutions should have. ObjectiveThe main objective was to explore existing research on mHealth solutions targeted at students populations. With the objective of identifying their effectiveness, and evaluating the effectiveness of the features that are implemented in the mHealth solutions, resulting in future directions for mHealth development. MethodIn order to synthesize existing knowledge, we did a systematic literature review searching the following databases Scopus, Pubmed, Web of Science, Engineering Village, ACM digital library, and JMIR. ResultsAfter removing duplicates, a total of 466 studies were identified for inclusion or exclusion, of which this systematic literature review included 24 articles. Eight of those 24 reported significant effect, four reported nonsignificant effect and twelve reported perceived effect from the use of the mobile solutions that were studied. From evaluating the mobile solutions 11 main features were identified as the cause of the effect reported, these findings were strengthened by previous research and recommendations for future app development are provided based on the findings. ConclusionFindings show that mHealth solutions are effective tools for addressing mild to moderate forms of mental health and well-being problems targeted at students. The review also provides a beginning for the development of a protocol for systematically reviewing research performed on mHealth solutions.