The Karma system is currently undergoing maintenance (Monday, January 29, 2018).
The maintenance period has been extended to 8PM EST.
Karma Credits will not be available for redeeming during maintenance.
Internet interventions, technologies and digital innovations for mental health and behavior change
JMIR Mental Health (JMH, ISSN 2368-7959) is a PubMed-indexed, peer-reviewed sister journal of JMIR, the leading eHealth journal by Impact Factor. (The projected inofficial impact factor for JMIR Mental Health is about 3.0)
JMIR Mental Health focusses on digital health and Internet interventions, technologies and electronic innovations (software and hardware) for mental health, addictions, online counselling and behaviour change. This includes formative evaluation and system descriptions, theoretical papers, review papers, viewpoint/vision papers, and rigorous evaluations.
JMIR Mental Health publishes even faster and has a broader scope with including papers which are more technical or more formative/developmental than what would be published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
JMIR Mental Health features a rapid and thorough peer-review process, professional copyediting, professional production of PDF, XHTML, and XML proofs. The journal is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, and ESCI (Emerging Sources Citation Index).
JMIR Mental Health adheres to the same quality standards as JMIR and all articles published here are also cross-listed in the Table of Contents of JMIR, the worlds' leading medical journal in health sciences / health services research and health informatics.
Right click to copy or hit: ctrl+c (cmd+c on mac)
Background: Psychosocial characteristics including self-esteem, perceived social support, coping skills, stigma, discrimination and poverty are strongly correlated with depression symptoms. However, d...
Background: Psychosocial characteristics including self-esteem, perceived social support, coping skills, stigma, discrimination and poverty are strongly correlated with depression symptoms. However, data on the extent of these correlations among persons living with HIV, and the correlations between psychosocial characteristics and HIV treatment outcomes is limited in sub-Saharan Africa. Objective: This paper aims to describe the recruitment and correlations among baseline characteristics of a sample of HIV positive men and women in a cluster randomized trial designed to examine the effects of group support psychotherapy delivered by trained lay health workers for depression treatment. Methods: Thirty eligible primary care health centers across three districts were randomly allocated to have their lay health workers trained to deliver group support psychotherapy (intervention arm) or group HIV education and treatment as usual (control arm) to PLWH with depression. Screening and recruitment procedures were documented. Baseline demographic, socio-economic and psychosocial characteristics were collected via interviewer administered questionnaires. Among eligible participants, differences between those enrolled versus those who refused enrollment were assessed using Chi-square for categorical variables and t-tests for continuous variables.Spearman rank-order correlation analyses were conducted to determine associations between baseline depression symptoms, adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), viral load suppressionand other psychosocial variables. Results: The study screened 1,473 people of which 1,140 were eligible and enrolled over a 14 week recruitment period. Participants recruited comprised of 95% of the target sample size of 1,200. The sample mean age was 38.46(SD=10.97) and both genders were well represented (males 46.32%). Most participants met diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder (96.9%), had significant post-traumatic stress symptoms (72.54%), reported moderate suicide risk (52.54%), primary or no formal education (86.23%), lack of income generating activity (70%), and food insecurity (81.87%). Baseline mean scores for disability days in the past month, functioning, self-esteem, and social support were low while mean scores for internalized stigma were high.Among eligible participants, 48(4.2%) refused to participate in the interventions and these were more likely to be males (χ2 =4.01; p-value =0.045) and have significantly lower depression symptoms scores (t =2.36; p-value =0.01) than those who enrolled and participated in the interventions. Several significant positive and negative correlations were found between psychosocial variables and depression. There was a significant positive correlation between viral load suppression and number of trauma events experienced (ρ = 0.12, p < 0.05). Adherence to ART was positively correlated with perceived social support (ρ = 0.15, p < 0.01) but negatively correlated with depression symptoms (ρ = -0.11, p < 0.05) and stigma (ρ = - 0.14, p < 0.01). Conclusions: In this study population, men and womenwith HIV and major depression are vulnerable on multiple levels and disadvantaged across many social and economic determinants of health. Therefore, psychological therapy to support these individuals should be tailored to the cultural context, and have the ingredients to address not only multiple emotional problems but also the socio-economic disadvantage. Clinical Trial: This trial is registered with The Pan African Clinical Trials Registry; PACTR201608001738234.
Background: Facebook is still the most popular social networking site in the world. A growing number of people with mental health issues are using open Facebook groups as a source of informational and...
Background: Facebook is still the most popular social networking site in the world. A growing number of people with mental health issues are using open Facebook groups as a source of informational and emotional support, and to provide peer support to others with mental illness. Facebook groups specifically tailored for mental health can provide a safe, less stigmatised environment for people to share their personal experiences with others who understand, and gain information and advice from those with similar experiences. The peer support people gain from other group members can reduce feelings of isolation, helping them feel more connected and less alone. Objective: The aim of the research was to gain an understanding of how people use open Facebook groups for their emotional and mental health needs, and to gain an insight into how they support each other through these groups. Specifically, the study explored the ways people in the UK and USA interact via open Facebook mental health groups about mental health issues, and how they sought, provided and received the support. Methods: A systematic search of all mental health related open Facebook groups was conducted in January 2016 using mental health related keywords, which yielded a total of 158 groups. Only groups that had an administrator that was clearly based in the UK or USA, and displayed group member engagement through comments and posts were considered for analysis. This resulted in 14 UK Facebook groups and 11 USA Facebook groups appropriate for analysis. All posts over a three-month period were copied and pasted for analysis. The resulting data set consisted of 1,901 pages of UK Facebook posts and comments, and 1,900 pages of USA Facebook posts and comments. Thematic analysis was conducted to extract key themes from the data set using NVivo software Results: Findings support the literature that general online support is beneficial to those with mental illness. Using open Facebook groups specifically can provide people with informational and emotional support for their mental illness, increasing the perceived level of social support. Additionally, online support from Facebook groups can increase feelings of connectedness, reduce feelings of isolation, and provide a platform for comparison of perspectives relating to their own experiences. Furthermore, group membership may offer hope and increase feelings of empowerment in those using Facebook as a support mechanism for their mental illness. Conclusions: This study adds to the current growing body of research examining how people with mental illness use open Facebook groups specifically to seek and provide emotional and informational support online. The study highlights the positive impact of shared personal experiences, and offers a greater understanding of the benefits of online peer support in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. Furthermore, it poses questions for group administrators and health professionals relating to their utilisation and moderation of such open Facebook mental health groups.
Background: There are many websites available with information and resources for perinatal anxiety, however, there is limited research on the quality and content of these sites. Objective: To identify...
Background: There are many websites available with information and resources for perinatal anxiety, however, there is limited research on the quality and content of these sites. Objective: To identify what sites are available on perinatal anxiety, identify any information and therapeutic advice given, and review its accuracy and website design. Methods: This study conducted a systematic review of websites for perinatal anxiety. Eligible websites (n=50) were evaluated for accuracy of information, resources for mothers, website quality and readability. Results: Information was often incomplete and focused on symptoms, rather than risk factors or impact of untreated perinatal anxiety. Websites often had information on treatment (92%), but much less on screening (38%). Most sites provided at least some resources to support mothers (98%) and active, guided support was infrequent (50%). Website quality was extremely variable, and mostly difficult to read (84%). Conclusions: The study recommends the top 4 websites on perinatal anxiety for healthcare professionals and users. There is a need for websites to be developed that provide accurate evidence-based information that women can relate to with quality support resources. These sites should also be easy to use and readable.
Background: The disparities in employment for individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMI) have been well documented, as have the benefits of work. The benefits of mobile technology in providing ac...
Background: The disparities in employment for individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMI) have been well documented, as have the benefits of work. The benefits of mobile technology in providing accessible, in-the-moment support for these individuals has been demonstrated. The WorkingWell mobile app was developed to meet the need for accessible follow-along supports for individuals with SMI in the workplace. Objective: We explore the usability, usage, usefulness and overall feasibility of the WorkingWell mobile app with individuals with SMI receiving community-based services and actively employed. Methods: In this proof-of-concept, mixed methods, two-month feasibility study (N=40), employed individuals with SMI were recruited in mental health agencies. Participants completed surveys regarding background characteristics and cellphone use at enrollment; and responded to interview items regarding app usability, usage and usefulness in technical assistance calls at one, two, four and six weeks of study participation and in the exit interview at 8 weeks. Data on the frequency of app usage were downloaded and monitored on a daily basis. A version of the System Usability Scale (SUS) was administered in the exit interview. Feasibility was determined by the percent of users completing the study. General impressions were obtained from users regarding user support materials, technical assistance, and study procedures. Results: Over half of the participants were male (60%, 24/40). The majority were age 55 or under (70%, 28/40), Caucasian (80%, 32/40), had less than a 4-year college education (78%, 31/40), were employed part-time (98%, 39/40), had been working more than six months (60%, 24/40), and indicated a diagnosis of bipolar, schizoaffective or depressive disorder (84%, 16/25). The vast majority of participants owned cellphones (95%, 38/40), using them multiple times per day (83%, 33/40). Their average rating on SUS usability items was 3.93 (SD = 0.77; range = 1.57 to 5.00), reflecting positive responses. Participants, in general, indicated WorkingWell was “very easy”, “straightforward”, “simple”, and “user-friendly”. Usability challenges were related to personal issues (e.g., memory) or to difficulties with the phone or app. Data on app usage varied considerably. The most frequent navigations were to the home screen, followed by Rate My Day and My Progress, and then by Manage the Moment and Remind Me. The app was described as useful by most study participants; 86% (30/35) agreed the app would help them manage better on the job. Thirty-five of the 40 original participants (87%) completed the study. Conclusions: The WorkingWell app is a feasible approach to providing accessible, as-needed employment support for individuals with SMI. The app would benefit from additional modifications to address recommendations from feasibility testing. Controlled research with larger samples, more diverse in individual characteristics and workplace settings, is essential to demonstrating the effectiveness of the app. Clinical Trial: This trial was not registered because it did not fulfill the criteria for registration under the FDAAA 801 definition of an "applicable clinical trial". The study was excluded from registration and results submission requirements of FDAAA 801 as it was a “Small clinical trials to determine the feasibility of a device or a clinical trial to test prototype devices, where the primary outcome measure relates to feasibility and not to health outcomes” (from https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/manage-recs/fdaaa). Small feasibility studies do not require registration.
Background: Positive affect journaling (PAJ), an emotion-focused self-regulation intervention, has been associated with positive outcomes among medical populations. It may be adapted for online dissem...
Background: Positive affect journaling (PAJ), an emotion-focused self-regulation intervention, has been associated with positive outcomes among medical populations. It may be adapted for online dissemination to address a need for scalable, evidence-based psychosocial interventions among distressed patients with medical conditions. Objective: This study examined the impact of a 12-week online PAJ intervention on psychological distress and quality of life in general medical patients. Methods: Seventy adults with various medical conditions were recruited from local clinics and randomly assigned to an online PAJ intervention (n=35) or usual care (n=35). The intervention group completed 15-minute online PAJ sessions on three days each week for 12 weeks. At baseline and the end of months 1 through 3, surveys of psychological, interpersonal, and physical well-being were completed. Results: Patients evidenced moderate sustained adherence to online intervention. PAJ was associated with decreased mental distress (p’s≤.045) and increased well-being (p’s ≤.046) relative to baseline. PAJ was also associated with less depressive symptoms (p=.047) and anxiety (p=.01) after one month, and greater resilience after the first (p=.044) and second month (p=.01), relative to usual care. Conclusions: Online PAJ may serve as an effective intervention for mitigating mental distress, increasing well-being, and enhancing physical functioning among medical populations. PAJ may be integrated into routine medical care to improve quality of life. Clinical Trial: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01873599