BACKGROUND: Healthy aging (HA) is a contemporary challenge for population health worldwide. Electronic health (e-Health) interventions have the potential to support empowerment and education of adults aged 50 and over.
OBJECTIVES: To summarize evidence on the effectiveness of e-Health interventions on HA and explore how specific e-Health interventions and their characteristics effectively impact HA.
METHODS: A systematic review was conducted based on the Cochrane Collaboration methods including any experimental study design published in French, Dutch, Spanish, and English from 2000 to 2018.
RESULTS: Fourteen studies comparing various e-Health interventions to multiple components controls were included. The target population, type of interventions, and outcomes measured were very heterogeneous across studies; thus, a meta-analysis was not possible. However, effect estimates indicate that e-Health interventions could improve physical activity. Positive effects were also found for other healthy behaviors (e.g., healthy eating), psychological outcomes (e.g., memory), and clinical parameters (e.g., blood pressure). Given the low certainty of the evidence related to most outcomes, these results should be interpreted cautiously.
CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review found limited evidence supporting the effectiveness of e-Health interventions, although the majority of studies show positive effects of these interventions for improving physical activity in older adults. Thus, better quality evidence is needed regarding the effects of e-Health on the physiological, psychological, and social dimensions of HA.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: The review protocol was registered in PROSPERO (registration number: CRD42016033163).