A systematic review of internet-based self-management interventions for youth with health conditions

J Pediatr Psychol. 2009 Jun;34(5):495-510. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsn115. Epub 2008 Nov 23.


Objective: Critically appraise research evidence on effectiveness of internet self-management interventions on health outcomes in youth with health conditions.

Methods: Published studies of internet interventions in youth with health conditions were evaluated. Electronic searches were conducted in EBM Reviews-Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsychINFO. Two reviewers independently selected articles for review and assessed methodological quality. Of 29 published articles on internet interventions; only nine met the inclusion criteria and were included in analysis.

Results: While outcomes varied greatly between studies, symptoms improved in internet interventions compared to control conditions in seven of nine studies. There was conflicting evidence regarding disease-specific knowledge and quality of life, and evidence was limited regarding decreases in health care utilization.

Conclusions: There are the beginnings of an evidence base that self-management interventions delivered via the internet improve selected outcomes in certain childhood illnesses.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Care*
  • Treatment Outcome