WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Social media use interventions may be effective in improving mental well-being in adults, according to a review published online Aug. 11 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
Ruth Plackett, Ph.D., from University College London, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies examining the effectiveness of social media use interventions in improving mental well-being in adults.
Based on 23 included studies, the researchers found that 39 percent of studies showed improvements in mental well-being, 30 percent found mixed effects, and 30 percent found no effect on mental well-being. Therapy-based interventions (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy) were more effective than limiting use of social media or full abstinence from social media (83, 20, and 25 percent, respectively). The most commonly studied and the most improved outcome was depression (70 percent of the studies showing a significant improvement in depression after the intervention). Overall, quality was poor (96 percent with a weak global score), most often due to selection bias, as most of the studies (70 percent) used a convenience sampling of university students.
“Taking a more therapy-based approach and reflecting on how and why individuals are interacting with social media and managing these behaviors could help to improve mental well-being,” the authors write.
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