Rapid review and meta-meta-analysis of self-guided interventions to address anxiety, depression and stress during COVID-19 social distancing
Date created: | Last Updated:
: DOI | ARK
Creating DOI. Please wait...
Description: We conducted a rapid review and quantitative summary of meta-analyses that have examined interventions which can be used by individuals during quarantine and social distancing to manage anxiety, depression, stress and subjective well-being. A literature search yielded 34 meta-analyses (total number of studies k = 1,390, n = 145,744) that were summarized. Overall, self-guided interventions showed small to medium effects in comparison to control groups demonstrating their effectiveness. In particular, third-wave therapeutic approaches (including cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness, and acceptance-based interventions), selected positive psychology interventions, and multi-component and activity based interventions (music, physical exercise) showed promising evidence for effectiveness. Many of these interventions are available in online or smartphone app form. At the same time, self-guided interventions on average did not show the same degree of effectiveness as traditional guided individual or group therapies. The review points to activities and practices that can be adapted by individuals as a first step to manage their mental health during social distancing and quarantines. Further research is clearly needed on activities helping individuals to interact and live in constrained living conditions (e.g, improving social interactions during quarantine) and the relative effectiveness of self-guided interventions across cultural boundaries. A supplement with selected self-guided activities based on this rapid review is available: https://osf.io/ac6b4/