Systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of chatbots on lifestyle behaviours

Ben Singh, Tim Olds, Jacinta Brinsley, Dot Dumuid, Rosa Virgara, Lisa Matricciani, Amanda Watson, Kimberley Szeto, Emily Eglitis, Aaron Miatke, Catherine EM Simpson, Corneel Vandelanotte, Carol Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Chatbots (also known as conversational agents and virtual assistants) offer the potential to deliver healthcare in an efficient, appealing and personalised manner. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the efficacy of chatbot interventions designed to improve physical activity, diet and sleep. Electronic databases were searched for randomised and non-randomised controlled trials, and pre-post trials that evaluated chatbot interventions targeting physical activity, diet and/or sleep, published before 1 September 2022. Outcomes were total physical activity, steps, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), fruit and vegetable consumption, sleep quality and sleep duration. Standardised mean differences (SMD) were calculated to compare intervention effects. Subgroup analyses were conducted to assess chatbot type, intervention type, duration, output and use of artificial intelligence. Risk of bias was assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment tool. Nineteen trials were included. Sample sizes ranged between 25–958, and mean participant age ranged between 9–71 years. Most interventions (n = 15, 79%) targeted physical activity, and most trials had a low-quality rating (n = 14, 74%). Meta-analysis results showed significant effects (all p 
Original languageEnglish
Article number118
Number of pages10
Journalnpj Digital Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • chatbots
  • lifestyle behaviours
  • systematic review
  • meta-analysis


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