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Research Links & Accessible Databases


CATS – Occupational Therapy Critically Appraised Topics Free to access, this is an OT Australia initiative. The site posts short summaries of evidence on a topic of interest, usually focused around a clinical question. Well worth a look but there haven’t been any new topics uploaded since 2014. Link:

OT Seeker – Occupational Therapy Systematic Evaluation of Evidence Free database of randomised trials, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines. Citation details and links where able provided. Link:

SpeechBite Free speech pathology database for the best interventions and treatment efficacy by providing methodological quality ratings of studies. Link:

PEDro – Physiotherapy Evidence Database Free database of randomised trials, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines. Citation details and links where able provided. Link:

PubMed Database of citations for biomedical literature. Some links to full text content available. Link:

Science Direct Free access to database of citations of science, technology and medicine literature. Link:

Research Gate Free to join, share and read research publications. Link:

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Journal of Ageing & Health

  • Mapping Protective Performance of Social Network Types on Health and Quality of Life in Older People in European Regions
    by Zaira Torres on November 28, 2022 at 3:11 am

    Journal of Aging and Health, Ahead of Print. <br/>Objectives: To identify social network profiles using Latent Profile Analysis (LPA), to study the relationships of these profiles with health markers, mental health, quality of life, and cognitive functioning, and to compare profiles across European regions. Methods: 27,272 participants from the Wave 8 of the SHARE project, aged 65 or older (M = 74.95, SD = 7.17) from Europe. Statistical analyses included LPAs followed by MANOVAs to compare the profiles and the health markers. Results: Five profiles were identified: family, friends, spouse, diverse, and others. A no network group was also added. The prevalence of the specific profiles differed across European regions. Individuals with no network and those categorized into the others profile presented the worst health outcomes. Discussion: The “friends” network is more protective toward cognitive functioning and physical health and the “spouse” and “family” ones are more protective toward mental health. The variability according to European regions is discussed.

  • Trends in Activity Limitations From an International Perspective: Differential Changes Between Age Groups Across 30 Countries
    by Johannes Beller on November 25, 2022 at 10:22 am

    Journal of Aging and Health, Ahead of Print. <br/>Objectives: Examine trends in limitations among young (15–39), middle-aged (40–64) and older age-groups (>=65) and their socioeconomic differences. Methods: Population-based European Social Survey data (N = 396,853) were used, covering 30 mostly European countries and spanning the time-period 2002–2018. Limitations were measured using a global activity limitations indicator. Results: Age-differential trends in limitations were found. Activity limitations generally decreased in older adults, whereas trends varied among younger and middle-aged participants, with decreasing limitations in some countries but increasing limitations in others. These age-differential trends were replicated across limitation severity and socioeconomic groups; however, stronger limitation increases occurred regarding less-severe limitations. Discussion: Functional health has improved in older adults. Contrarily, the increasing limitations in younger and middle-aged individuals seem concerning, which were mostly observed in Western and Northern European countries. Given its public health importance, future studies should investigate the reasons for this declining functional health in the young and middle-aged.

  • Physical Activity Tracker Application in Promoting Physical Activity Behavior among Older Adults: A 24-month Follow-Up Study
    by Tuomas Kari on November 25, 2022 at 2:01 am

    Journal of Aging and Health, Ahead of Print. <br/>ObjectivesTo investigate whether and how PA tracker application use supports PA behavior among older adults during the first 24 months of use. Methods: The changes in PA levels (i.e., time spent in different PA intensities) and between PA categories (i.e., low, moderate, or high based on total PA) were examined between three different time points: before taking the application into use (t0), after 12 months of use (t1), and after 24 months of use (t2). The data was collected by using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire modified for the elderly (IPAQ-E). Results: A statistically significant increase was observed in walking (χ2 (2) = 29.741, p < .001), moderate PA (χ2 (2) = 6.327, p = .042), and total PA levels (χ2 (2) = 11.489, p = .003). The increase was observed between t0 and t1 as well as between t0 and t2. The overall changes between PA categories were statistically significant between t0 and t1 (χ2 (3) = 15.789, p = .001) as well as between t0 and t2 (χ2 (3) = 14.745, p = .002). There were more increasingly active (moved to a higher PA category) than decreasingly active (moved to a lower PA category) participants. Discussion: Overall, the results indicate that PA tracker application use can promote PA behavior among older adults. Stakeholders that work with PA programs and PA promotion, as well as individual users, can utilize digital wellness technologies in supporting PA promotion, especially in exceptional times, like the COVID-19 pandemic, when health care restrictions prevent general gatherings.


  • Author Response: Associations of Social Isolation and Loneliness With Later Dementia
    by Shen, C., Feng, J. on November 28, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    We thank Dr. Holwerda for the insightful comments on our study.1 The association of social isolation and loneliness with dementia is inconsistent in literature.2-4 One possibility for this discrepancy is that the associations may be affected by risk factors that were not consistently considered in previous studies. Another explanation is that the study population and duration of follow-up is different. In this study, we found social isolation was an independent risk factor for dementia. However, the association between loneliness and dementia was not significant after full adjustment, which was decreased by 75% when controlling for depressive symptoms.

  • Discordance and Concordance Between Cerebrospinal and [18F]FDG-PET Biomarkers in Assessing Atypical and Early-Onset AD Dementia Cases
    by Quispialaya, K. M., Therriault, J., Aliaga, A., Zimmermann, M., Fernandez-Arias, J., Lussier, F., Massarweh, G., Pascoal, T., Soucy, J.-P., Gauthier, S., Jean-Claude, B., Gilfix, B., Vitali, P., Rosa-Neto, P. on November 28, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Background and Objectives To assess the concordance and discordance between the core Alzheimer disease (AD) CSF biomarkers and [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET patterns evaluated clinically in memory clinic patients who meet appropriate use criteria for AD biomarker investigations. Methods We retrospectively assessed participants with atypical and/or early-onset dementia evaluated at a tertiary care memory clinic. All individuals underwent CSF evaluations for Aβ42, phosphorylated tau (P-tau181) and total tau, and brain [18F]FDG-PET. [18F]FDG-PET data were visually interpreted by 2 nuclear medicine experts as being consistent with AD or non-AD. CSF biomarker results were similarly grouped into AD biomarker positive/negative. Contingency tables and Kappa coefficients were used to establish the level of agreement and disagreement between CSF and [18F]FDG-PET results in all individuals. Results One hundred thirty-six individuals had both [18F]FDG-PET and lumbar puncture performed as part of the early-onset and/or atypical dementia assessments. [18F]FDG-PET showed a pattern suggestive of AD in 43% of patients, while CSF biomarkers showed results consistent with AD in 57% of participants. In patients who met criteria for AD biomarker investigations, we found that [18F]FDG-PET was discordant with CSF AD biomarkers in nearly 20% of cases; 12% of individuals with [18F]FDG-PET scans consistent with AD had AD-negative CSF results; and 7% of individuals with [18F]FDG-PET scans not consistent with AD had AD-positive CSF results, potentially suggesting atypical AD variants or less advanced neurodegeneration. [18F]FDG-PET discriminated patients with an AD-positive CSF profile from patients with an AD-negative profile with a sensitivity and specificity higher than 80% (sensitivity: 81%, 95% CI = 71–88%, SP: 81%, 95% CI = 68–89%). Furthermore, [18F]FDG-PET had a positive predictive value of 87% (95% CI = 78–93%) and a negative predictive value of 72% (95% CI = 60–82%). Discussion CSF and [18F]FDG-PET disagreed in nearly 20% of the cases studied in this clinical series. While CSF Aβ42 and P-tau181 biomarkers are specific for AD, the topographical information from [18F]FDG-PET may provide complementary information.

  • Investigating Functional Network Abnormalities and Associations With Disability in Multiple Sclerosis
    by Carotenuto, A., Valsasina, P., Schoonheim, M. M., Geurts, J. J. G., Barkhof, F., Gallo, A., Tedeschi, G., Tommasin, S., Pantano, P., Filippi, M., Rocca, M. A., on behalf of the MAGNIMS Study Group on November 28, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Background and Objectives In multiple sclerosis (MS), functional networks undergo continuous reconfiguration and topography changes over the disease course. In this study, we aimed to investigate functional network to pography abnormalities in MS and their association with disease phenotype, clinical and cognitive disability, and structural MRI damage. Methods This is a multicenter cross-sectional study. Enrolled participants performed MRI and neurologic and neuropsychological assessment. Network topography was assessed on resting state fMRI data using degree centrality, which counted the number of functional connections of each gray matter voxel with the rest of the brain. SPM12 age-adjusted, sex-adjusted, scanner-adjusted, framewise displacement, and gray matter–volume adjusted analysis of variance and multivariable regressions were used (p < 0.05, family-wise error [FWE] corrected). Results We enrolled 971 patients with MS (624 female patients; mean age = 43.1 ± 11.8 years; 47 clinically isolated syndrome [CIS], 704 relapsing-remitting MS [RRMS], 145 secondary progressive MS [SPMS], and 75 primary progressive MS [PPMS]) and 330 healthy controls (186 female patients; mean age = 41.2 ± 13.3 years). Patients with MS showed reduced centrality in the salience and sensorimotor networks as well as increased centrality in the default-mode network vs controls (p < 0.05, FWE). Abnormal centrality was already found in CIS vs controls and in RRMS vs CIS (p < 0.001, uncorrected); however, it became more severe in SPMS vs RRMS (p < 0.05, FWE) and in PPMS vs controls (p < 0.001, uncorrected). Cognitively impaired patients (39%) showed reduced centrality in the salience network and increased centrality in the default-mode network vs cognitively preserved patients (p < 0.001, conjunction analysis). More severe disability correlated with increased centrality in the right precuneus (r = 0.18, p < 0.05 FWE). Higher T2 lesion volume and brain/gray matter atrophy were associated with reduced centrality in the bilateral insula and cerebellum (r = range –0.17/–0.15 and 0.26/0.28, respectively; p < 0.05, FWE). Higher brain/gray matter atrophy was also associated with increased centrality in the default-mode network (r = range –0.31/–0.22, p < 0.05, FWE). Discussion Patients with MS presented with reduced centrality in the salience and primary sensorimotor networks and increased centrality in the default-mode network. Centrality abnormalities were specific for different disease phenotypes and associated with clinical and cognitive disability, hence suggesting that voxel-wise centrality analysis may reflect pathologic substrates underpinning disability accrual.

BMJ Paediatrics

  • Involving children and young people in paediatric research priority setting: a narrative review
    by Postma, L., Luchtenberg, M. L., Verhagen, A. A. E., Maeckelberghe, E. L. on November 25, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    Objective The objective of this study is twofold: first, to describe the methods used when involving children and young people (CYP) in developing a paediatric research agenda and, second, to evaluate how the existing literature describes the impact of involving CYP. We distinguish three forms of impact: impact on the research agenda (focused impact), impact on researchers and CYP (diffuse impact) and impact on future research (research impact). Design A narrative review of MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science and Google Scholar was conducted from October 2016 to January 2022. The included studies involved at least one CYP in developing a research agenda and were published in English. Results 22 studies were included; the CYP involved were aged between 6 years and 25 years. Little variation was found in the methods used to involve them. The methods used were James Lind Alliance (JLA) approach (n=16), focus groups (n=2), workshop (n=2), research prioritisation by affected communities (n=1) and combined methods (n=1). Impact was rarely described: focused impact in nine studies, diffuse impact in zero studies and research impact in three studies. Conclusion This study concludes that the JLA approach is most frequently used to involve CYP and that all methods used to involve them are rarely evaluated. It also concludes that the reported impact of involving CYPs is incomplete. This study implies that to convince sceptical researchers of the benefits of involving CYPs and to justify the costs, more attention should be paid to reporting these impacts.

  • Creating inclusive digital health resources for marginalised culturally diverse families: a call to action
    by Tengkawan, J., Agnihotri, R., Minhas, R. S. on November 24, 2022 at 2:17 pm
  • A Whole-child, whole-family approach to health assessments for asylum-seeking children
    by Sanchez Clemente, N., Cinardo, P., Ward, A., Longley, N., Harkensee, C., Eisen, S. on November 24, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    In 2020, 21% of people who sought asylum in the UK were children. This population has complex interconnecting health and social needs. Assessment requires a holistic approach, with consideration of physical and mental health in addition to social and developmental well-being, within the whole family group. A trauma-informed life-cycle and intergenerational care approach is important. This article, aimed at all health professionals who may work with asylum-seeking families, outlines the best practice principles for undertaking health assessments in migrant children and young people.

Journal of Paediatrics

Paediatric Physical Therapy

  • Abstracts of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy Poster Presentations at the Combined Sections Meeting: Erratum
    on October 1, 2022 at 12:00 am

    No abstract available

  • “Learn the Signs. Act Early.”: Updates and Implications for Physical Therapists
    by Kretch, Kari S.; Willett, Sandra L.; Hsu, Lin-Ya; Sargent, Barbara A.; Harbourne, Regina T.; Dusing, Stacey C. on October 1, 2022 at 12:00 am

    Purpose: In early 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their developmental surveillance milestone checklists. The purpose of this article is to clarify and interpret the updates from a physical therapist perspective and to discuss implications of the new milestones for physical therapists. Summary of Key Points: The CDC’s updated checklists provide clear, consistent, easy to use, and evidence-based developmental milestones to prompt discussion with families. The new checklists do not represent a lowering of standards and will likely increase, not decrease, referrals for screening, evaluation, and services. Crawling has been removed from the milestone checklists, as the current evidence suggests that crawling is highly variable and not essential for development. Conclusions and Recommendations for Clinical Practice: The updated milestone checklists will facilitate bringing vital services to children who need them. Physical therapists should support our primary care colleagues in implementing this useful program.

  • Research on Children With Cerebral Palsy in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
    by Leite, Hércules Ribeiro; Jindal, Pranay; Malek, Sandra Abdel; Rosenbaum, Peter on October 1, 2022 at 12:00 am

    The purpose of this special communication is to present ideas and thoughts from a symposium at the 75th Annual Meeting of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. These included perspectives and lessons from 3 previously published review studies regarding cerebral palsy (CP) research in Brazil, India, and African countries, which explored the literature through the lens of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework. Using this common lens, first we present the main findings of each of these articles, as well as the similarities and differences in CP research across these low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Second, considering current evidence, lessons from other LMICs and based on our experiences, we raise recommendations of critical areas to be addressed such as ICF framework implementation and best evidence practice on CP, focusing on prevention, early diagnosis, and intervention (see Supplemental Digital Abstract, available at:

Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research

Journal of Orthopaedic amp; Sports Physical Therapy

Australian Journal of Psychology

BMJ Evidence-Based Mental Health Journal

  • Risk prediction model for cardiovascular diseases in adults initiating pharmacological treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
    by Dobrosavljevic, M., Fazel, S., Du Rietz, E., Li, L., Zhang, L., Chang, Z., Jernberg, T., Faraone, S. V., Jendle, J., Chen, Q., Brikell, I., Larsson, H. on November 17, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    Background Available prediction models of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) may not accurately predict outcomes among individuals initiating pharmacological treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Objective To improve the predictive accuracy of traditional CVD risk factors for adults initiating pharmacological treatment of ADHD, by considering novel CVD risk factors associated with ADHD (comorbid psychiatric disorders, sociodemographic factors and psychotropic medication). Methods The cohort composed of 24 186 adults residing in Sweden without previous CVDs, born between 1932 and 1990, who started pharmacological treatment of ADHD between 2008 and 2011, and were followed for up to 2 years. CVDs were identified using diagnoses according to the International Classification of Diseases, and dispended medication prescriptions from Swedish national registers. Cox proportional hazards regression was employed to derive the prediction model. Findings The developed model included eight traditional and four novel CVD risk factors. The model showed acceptable overall discrimination (C index=0.72, 95% CI 0.70 to 0.74) and calibration (Brier score=0.008). The Integrated Discrimination Improvement index showed a significant improvement after adding novel risk factors (0.003 (95% CI 0.001 to 0.007), p<0.001). Conclusions The inclusion of the novel CVD risk factors may provide a better prediction of CVDs in this population compared with traditional CVD predictors only, when the model is used with a continuous risk score. External validation studies and studies assessing clinical impact of the model are warranted. Clinical implications Individuals initiating pharmacological treatment of ADHD at higher risk of developing CVDs should be more closely monitored.

  • Association between mirtazapine use and serious self-harm in people with depression: an active comparator cohort study using UK electronic health records
    by Joseph, R. M., Jack, R. H., Morriss, R., Knaggs, R. D., Butler, D., Hollis, C., Hippisley-Cox, J., Coupland, C. on November 17, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    Background Studies report an increased risk of self-harm or suicide in people prescribed mirtazapine compared with other antidepressants. Objectives To compare the risk of serious self-harm in people prescribed mirtazapine versus other antidepressants as second-line treatments. Design and setting Cohort study using anonymised English primary care electronic health records, hospital admission data and mortality data with study window 1 January 2005 to 30 November 2018. Participants 24 516 people diagnosed with depression, aged 18–99 years, initially prescribed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and then prescribed mirtazapine, a different SSRI, amitriptyline or venlafaxine. Main outcome measures Hospitalisation or death due to deliberate self-harm. Age–sex standardised rates were calculated and survival analyses were performed using inverse probability of treatment weighting to account for baseline covariates. Results Standardised rates of serious self-harm ranged from 3.8/1000 person-years (amitriptyline) to 14.1/1000 person-years (mirtazapine). After weighting, the risk of serious self-harm did not differ significantly between the mirtazapine group and the SSRI or venlafaxine groups (HRs (95% CI) 1.18 (0.84 to 1.65) and 0.85 (0.51 to 1.41) respectively). The risk was significantly higher in the mirtazapine than the amitriptyline group (3.04 (1.36 to 6.79)) but was attenuated after adjusting for dose. Conclusions There was no evidence for a difference in risk between mirtazapine and SSRIs or venlafaxine after accounting for baseline characteristics. The higher risk in the mirtazapine versus the amitriptyline group might reflect residual confounding if amitriptyline is avoided in people considered at risk of self-harm. Clinical implications Addressing baseline risk factors and careful monitoring might improve outcomes for people at risk of serious self-harm.

  • Self-harm, somatic disorders and mortality in the 3 years following a hospitalisation in psychiatry in adolescents and young adults
    by Jollant, F., Goueslard, K., Hawton, K., Quantin, C. on November 17, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    Background There is limited recent information regarding the risk of self-harm, somatic disorders and premature mortality following discharge from psychiatric hospital in young people. Objective To measure these risks in young people discharged from a psychiatric hospital as compared with both non-affected controls and non-hospitalised affected controls. Methods Data were extracted from the French national health records. Cases were compared with two control groups. Cases: all individuals aged 12–24 years, hospitalised in psychiatry in France in 2013–2014. Non-affected controls: matched for age and sex with cases, not hospitalised in psychiatry and no identification of a mental disorder in 2008–2014. Affected controls: unmatched youths identified with a mental disorder between 2008 and 2014, never hospitalised in psychiatry. Follow-up of 3 years. Logistic regression analyses were conducted with these confounding variables: age, sex, past hospitalisation for self-harm, past somatic disorder diagnosis. Findings The studied population comprised 73 300 hospitalised patients (53.6% males), 219 900 non-affected controls and 9 683 affected controls. All rates and adjusted risks were increased in hospitalised patients versus both non-affected and affected controls regarding a subsequent hospitalisation for self-harm (HR=105.5, 95% CIs (89.5 to 124.4) and HR=1.5, 95% CI (1.4 to 1.6)), a somatic disorder diagnosis (HR=4.1, 95% CI (3.9–4.1) and HR=1.4, 95% CI (1.3–1.5)), all-cause mortality (HR=13.3, 95% CI (10.6–16.7) and HR=2.2, 95% CI (1.5–3.0)) and suicide (HR=9.2, 95% CI (4.3–19.8) and HR=1.7, 95% CI (1.0–2.9)). Conclusions The first 3 years following psychiatric hospital admission of young people is a period of high risk for self-harm, somatic disorders and premature mortality. Clinical implications Attention to these negative outcomes urgently needs to be incorporated in aftercare policies.

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

  • Table of Contents
    on December 1, 2022 at 12:00 am
  • What’s New Online
    on December 1, 2022 at 12:00 am
  • 2023 Call for Abstracts
    on December 1, 2022 at 12:00 am

    You are invited to submit an abstract for review and possible presentation at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™ (FNCE®) in Denver, CO October 7-10, 2023

Nutrition & Dietetics

British Journal of Sports Medicine

  • Gender-specific psychosocial stressors influencing mental health among women elite and semielite athletes: a narrative review
    by Pascoe, M., Pankowiak, A., Woessner, M., Brockett, C. L., Hanlon, C., Spaaij, R., Robertson, S., McLachlan, F., Parker, A. on November 17, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Elite and semielite athletes commonly experience mental health concerns and disorders. Compared with men athletes, women athletes are at greater risk of a range of psychological stressors that contribute to health concerns and mental health disorders, which can impact their career satisfaction and longevity. In order to address and improve the mental health of women athletes, it is necessary to simultaneously tackle the gender specific psychosocial stressors that contribute to mental health outcomes. This narrative review examines the gender-specific stressors that affect mental health and well-being in women athletes, some of which are modifiable. Psychosocial stressors identified include exposure to violence, be it psychological, physical or sexual in nature, which can result in a myriad of acute and long-lasting symptoms; and inequities as reflected in pay disparities, under-representation in the media, fewer opportunities in leadership positions and implications associated with family planning and motherhood. Strategies to promote mental health in women athletes should be considered, and where possible, should proactively address gender-specific stressors likely to influence mental health in order to maximise positive outcomes in women athletes.

  • Dr Jiwu Chen: providing a full range of services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic
    by Lin, J., Huang, H. on November 17, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Dr Jiwu Chen, a Chinese orthopaedic surgeon, is very active in local and international societies of orthopaedic sports medicine. Since 2008, he has been committed to helping many patients through various online social media, including free online consultation platforms, instant messaging apps and short video platforms. Dr Chen was awarded China’s National Reputed Doctor Award in 2020 for his professional and voluntary service in sports medicine. He currently serves as the director of the Department of Sports Medicine, Shanghai General Hospital, and is a committee member of the Hip, Groin & Thigh and Shoulder Committees of the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. The lockdown challenges In early March 2022, the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant epidemic broke out in Shanghai and lasted for nearly 3 months. Due to the requirements of epidemic prevention and control, most hospitals only provided emergency services. Additionally, the travelling and communication…

  • Do physical activity interventions combining self-monitoring with other components provide an additional benefit compared with self-monitoring alone? A systematic review and meta-analysis
    by Vetrovsky, T., Borowiec, A., Jurik, R., Wahlich, C., Smigielski, W., Steffl, M., Tufano, J. J., Drygas, W., Stastny, P., Harris, T., Ma&#x0142;ek, &#x0141;ukasz on November 17, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Objective To determine the net effect of different physical activity intervention components on step counts in addition to self-monitoring. Design A systematic review with meta-analysis and meta-regression. Data sources Five databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest and Discus) were searched from inception to May 2022. The database search was complemented with backward and forward citation searches and search of the references from relevant systematic reviews. Eligibility criteria Randomised controlled trials comparing an intervention using self-monitoring (active control arm) with an intervention comprising the same treatment PLUS any additional component (intervention arm). Data extraction and synthesis The effect measures were mean differences in daily step count. Meta-analyses were performed using random-effects models, and effect moderators were explored using univariate and multivariate meta-regression models. Results Eighty-five studies with 12 057 participants were identified, with 75 studies included in the meta-analysis at postintervention and 24 at follow-up. At postintervention, the mean difference between the intervention and active control arms was 926 steps/day (95% CI 651 to 1201). At a follow-up, the mean difference was 413 steps/day (95% CI 210 to 615). Interventions with a prescribed goal and involving human counselling, particularly via phone/video calls, were associated with a greater mean difference in the daily step count than interventions with added print materials, websites, smartphone apps or incentives. Conclusion Physical activity interventions that combine self-monitoring with other components provide an additional modest yet sustained increase in step count compared with self-monitoring alone. Some forms of counselling, particularly remote phone/video counselling, outperformed other intervention components, such as websites and smartphone apps. PROSPERO registered number CRD42020199482.