What is it about?

Can video counselling help people quit smoking? Or perhaps, drink less? Could it help us be more physically active or loose a few kilos? Well, this systematic review attempts to answer this. ***Results*** The short of it…video counselling seems to work just as well as a comparators such as face-to-face or telephone counselling. In fact, for physical activity, it may even be better than usual care. But there isn’t enough research yet to be conclusive.

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Why is it important?

Video counselling can reach many people at relatively low costs. Considering video counselling appears similarly effective to other modes, it has great potential. It may also reduce wasted time and travel required with face-to-face counselling. During COVID-19 we’ve seen face-to-face consultations be converted to video counselling. At least according to our review, this shouldn’t impact on their effectiveness.


4 billion people have access to the internet. Video counselling, therefore, offers great potential to deliver health interventions – and might be better than phone calls.

Matthew Mclaughlin
University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Population Health

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effectiveness of Individual Real-Time Video Counseling on Smoking, Nutrition, Alcohol, Physical Activity, and Obesity Health Risks: Systematic Review, Journal of Medical Internet Research, September 2020, JMIR Publications Inc., DOI: 10.2196/18621.
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