JMIR Mental Health

Internet interventions, technologies and digital innovations for mental health and behaviour change

How to benefit from blended care in mental health care?

Background: Blended care, a combination of online and face-to-face therapy, is increasingly being applied in mental health care to benefit optimally from the advantages both treatment modalities have. Promising results have been reported, but a variety in descriptions and ways of operationalizing blended care exists. Currently, what type of ‘blend’ works for whom, and why, is unclear. Furthermore, a rationale for setting up and initializing blended care often lacks. Objective: In this viewpoint paper, we describe postulates for blended care and provide an instrument (Fit for blended care) that helps therapists and patients to decide on the setup op blended care treatment Methods: The postulates and instrument are based on a review of the literature, and consultations with therapists and clients. Results: Postulates for blended care are presented as well as the ‘Fit for blended care’ instrument which addresses relevant themes that patient and therapist can discuss to set up blended treatment. Conclusions: More research into the reasons why and for whom blended care works, is needed. To benefit from blended care, face-to-face and online care should be combined in such way that the potentials of both treatment modalities are used optimally, depending on patient abilities, needs, and preferences. To facilitate the process of setting up a personalized blended treatment, the ‘fit for blended care’ instrument can be used. By applying this approach in research and practice, more insight into the working mechanisms and optimal (personal) 'blends' of online and face-to-face therapy becomes within reach.

2014-10-17

As in previous years, JMIR will produce a theme issue (e-collections) on Internet Interventions which will also include some of the best papers presented at the ISRII meeting in Valencia. For previous examples see for example:

The e-collection will comprise of papers published in multiple JMIR journals, although most will be published in JMIR Mental Health (http://mental.jmir.org/), which is the best venue for this kind of work and currently offers publication free of charge. Another new journal which publishes articles free of charge is JMIR Human Factors (http://humanfactors.jmir.org/) which may be suitable for usability evaluations.

JMIR Research Protocols (http://researchprotocols.org) publishes proposals, protocols, and formative/pilot evaluations, and JMIR mHealth (http://mhealth.jmir.org/) and JMIR Serious Games (http://games.jmir.org/) (the latter also has no submission or article processing fees) are further options for papers in these respective areas.

The submission site is at http://mental.jmir.org/author (if you presented at the ISRII meeting in Valencia please select "JMIR ISRII Theme Issue 2014" on submission) or the respective submission site from other JMIR journals (when in doubt which journal is best suited, submit to JMIR at http://www.jmir.org/author.

Read Post

Journal Description

JMIR Mental Health (JMH, ISSN 2368-7959) is a new spin-off journal of JMIR, the leading eHealth journal (Impact Factor 2013: 4.7). 

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 (ready for deposit in PubMed Central/PubMed), and an ipad App (in prep.).

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.

Editorial Board members are currently being recruited, please contact us if you are interested (jmir.editorial.office at gmail.com).

 

Recent Articles:

  • TOC thumbnail (author-generated image: original artwork by zhaolifang and freevector, Vecteezy).

    Privacy Issues in the Development of a Virtual Mental Health Clinic for University Students: A Qualitative Study

    Abstract:

    Background: There is a growing need to develop online services for university students with the capacity to complement existing services and efficiently address student mental health problems. Previous research examining the development and acceptability of online interventions has revealed that issues such as privacy critically impact user willingness to engage with these services. Objective: To explore university student perspectives on privacy issues related to using an online mental health service within the context of the development of an online, university-based virtual mental health clinic. Methods: There were two stages of data collection. The first stage consisted of four 1.5-hour focus groups conducted with university students (n=19; 10 female, 9 male, mean age = 21.6 years) to determine their ideas about the virtual clinic including privacy issues. The second stage comprised three 1-hour prototype testing sessions conducted with university students (n=6; 3 male, 3 female, mean age = 21.2 years) using participatory design methods to develop and refine a service model for the virtual clinic and determine student views on privacy within this context. Results: The students raised a number of issues related to privacy in relation to the development of the university virtual clinic. Major topics included the types of personal information they would be willing to provide (minimal information and optional mental health data), concern about potential access to their personal data by the university, the perceived stigma associated with registering for the service, and privacy and anonymity concerns related to online forums contained within the virtual clinic. Conclusions: Students would be more comfortable providing personal information and engaging with the virtual clinic if they trust the privacy and security of the service. Implications of this study include building the clinic in a flexible way to accommodate user preferences.

  • Mental Health Mobile Apps: From Infusion to Diffusion in the Mental Health Social System.

    Mental Health Mobile Apps: From Infusion to Diffusion in the Mental Health Social System

    Abstract:

    The roles of mental health educators and professionals in the diffusion of mental health mobile apps are addressed in this viewpoint article. Mental health mobile apps are emerging technologies that fit under the broad heading of mobile health (mHealth). mHealth, encompassed within electronic health (eHealth), reflects the use of mobile devices for the practice of public health. Well-designed mental health mobile apps that present content in interactive, engaging, and stimulating ways can promote cognitive learning, personal growth, and mental health enhancement. As key influencers in the mental health social system, counselor educators and professional associations may either help or hinder diffusion of beneficial mHealth technologies. As mental health mobile apps move towards ubiquity, research will continue to be conducted. The studies published thus far, combined with the potential of mental health mobile apps for learning and personal growth, offer enough evidence to compel mental health professionals to infuse these technologies into education and practice. Counselor educators and professional associations must use their influential leadership roles to train students and practitioners in how to research, evaluate, and integrate mental health mobile apps into practice. The objectives of this article are to (1) increase awareness of mHealth and mental health mobile apps, (2) demonstrate the potential for continued growth in mental health mobile apps based on technology use and acceptance theory, mHealth organizational initiatives, and evidence about how humans learn, (3) discuss evidence-based benefits of mental health mobile apps, (4) examine the current state of mHealth diffusion in the mental health profession, and (5) offer solutions for impelling innovation diffusion by infusing mental health mobile apps into education, training, and clinical settings. This discussion has implications for counselor educators, mental health practitioners, associations, continuing education providers, and app developers.

  • Screenshot of the PTSD Coach mobile phone application: (A) home screen and primary content areas: Education (Learn), Self-Assessment, Manage Symptoms (Tools), and Support; (B) Distress Thermometer (ie, subjective units of distress, measured before and after use of a symptom management tools).

    mHealth in the Wild: Using Novel Data to Examine the Reach, Use, and Impact of PTSD Coach

    Abstract:

    Background: A majority of Americans (58%) now use smartphones, making it possible for mobile mental health apps to reach large numbers of those who are living with untreated, or under-treated, mental health symptoms. Although early trials suggest positive effects for mobile health (mHealth) interventions, little is known about the potential public health impact of mobile mental health apps. Objective: The purpose of this study was to characterize reach, use, and impact of “PTSD Coach”, a free, broadly disseminated mental health app for managing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Methods: Using a mixed-methods approach, aggregate mobile analytics data from 153,834 downloads of PTSD Coach were analyzed in conjunction with 156 user reviews. Results: Over 60% of users engaged with PTSD Coach on multiple occasions (mean=6.3 sessions). User reviews reflected gratitude for the availability of the app and being able to use the app specifically during moments of need. PTSD Coach users reported relatively high levels of trauma symptoms (mean PTSD Checklist Score=57.2, SD=15.7). For users who chose to use a symptom management tool, distress declined significantly for both first-time users (mean=1.6 points, SD=2.6 on the 10-point distress thermometer) and return-visit users (mean=2.0, SD=2.3). Analysis of app session data identified common points of attrition, with only 80% of first-time users reaching the app’s home screen and 37% accessing one of the app’s primary content areas. Conclusions: These findings suggest that PTSD Coach has achieved substantial and sustained reach in the population, is being used as intended, and has been favorably received. PTSD Coach is a unique platform for the delivery of mobile mental health education and treatment, and continuing evaluation and improvement of the app could further strengthen its public health impact.

  • (cc) Torous et al. CC-BY-SA-2.0, please cite as (http://mental.jmir.org/article/viewFile/3889/1/55888).

    Utilizing a Personal Smartphone Custom App to Assess the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) Depressive Symptoms in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder

    Abstract:

    Background: Accurate reporting of patient symptoms is critical for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring in psychiatry. Smartphones offer an accessible, low-cost means to collect patient symptoms in real time and aid in care. Objective: To investigate adherence among psychiatric outpatients diagnosed with major depressive disorder in utilizing their personal smartphones to run a custom app to monitor Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) depression symptoms, as well as to examine the correlation of these scores to traditionally administered (paper-and-pencil) PHQ-9 scores. Methods: A total of 13 patients with major depressive disorder, referred by their clinicians, received standard outpatient treatment and, in addition, utilized their personal smartphones to run the study app to monitor their symptoms. Subjects downloaded and used the Mindful Moods app on their personal smartphone to complete up to three survey sessions per day, during which a randomized subset of PHQ-9 symptoms of major depressive disorder were assessed on a Likert scale. The study lasted 29 or 30 days without additional follow-up. Outcome measures included adherence, measured by the percentage of completed survey sessions, and estimates of daily PHQ-9 scores collected from the smartphone app, as well as from the traditionally administered PHQ-9. Results: Overall adherence was 77.78% (903/1161) and varied with time of day. PHQ-9 estimates collected from the app strongly correlated (r=.84) with traditionally administered PHQ-9 scores, but app-collected scores were 3.02 (SD 2.25) points higher on average. More subjects reported suicidal ideation using the app than they did on the traditionally administered PHQ-9. Conclusions: Patients with major depressive disorder are able to utilize an app on their personal smartphones to self-assess their symptoms of major depressive disorder with high levels of adherence. These app-collected results correlate with the traditionally administered PHQ-9. Scores recorded from the app may potentially be more sensitive and better able to capture suicidality than the traditional PHQ-9.

  • ©iStock.com/Ximagination
http://www.istockphoto.com/photo/businesswoman-working-at-beach-838684?st=2446cbe.

    Clinical Practice Models for the Use of E-Mental Health Resources in Primary Health Care by Health Professionals and Peer Workers: A Conceptual Framework

    Abstract:

    Background: Research into e-mental health technologies has developed rapidly in the last 15 years. Applications such as Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy interventions have accumulated considerable evidence of efficacy and some evidence of effectiveness. These programs have achieved similar outcomes to face-to-face therapy, while requiring much less clinician time. There is now burgeoning interest in integrating e-mental health resources with the broader mental health delivery system, particularly in primary care. The Australian government has supported the development and deployment of e-mental health resources, including websites that provide information, peer-to-peer support, automated self-help, and guided interventions. An ambitious national project has been commissioned to promote key resources to clinicians, to provide training in their use, and to evaluate the impact of promotion and training upon clinical practice. Previous initiatives have trained clinicians to use a single e-mental health program or a suite of related programs. In contrast, the current initiative will support community-based service providers to access a diverse array of resources developed and provided by many different groups. Objective: The objective of this paper was to develop a conceptual framework to support the use of e-mental health resources in routine primary health care. In particular, models of clinical practice are required to guide the use of the resources by diverse service providers and to inform professional training, promotional, and evaluation activities. Methods: Information about service providers’ use of e-mental health resources was synthesized from a nonsystematic overview of published literature and the authors’ experience of training primary care service providers. Results: Five emerging clinical practice models are proposed: (1) promotion; (2) case management; (3) coaching; (4) symptom-focused treatment; and (5) comprehensive therapy. We also consider the service provider skills required for each model and the ways that e-mental health resources might be used by general practice doctors and nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, counselors, and peer workers Conclusions: The models proposed in the current paper provide a conceptual framework for policy-makers, researchers and clinicians interested in integrating e-mental health resources into primary care. Research is needed to establish the safety and effectiveness of the models in routine care and the best ways to support their implementation.

  • Author: Alison Hui
Copyright by Alison Hui.

    Evaluation of an Online Campaign for Promoting Help-Seeking Attitudes for Depression Using a Facebook Advertisement: An Online Randomized Controlled Experiment

    Abstract:

    Background: A depression-awareness campaign delivered through the Internet has been recommended as a public health approach that would enhance mental health literacy and encourage help-seeking attitudes. However, the outcomes of such a campaign remain understudied. Objective: The main aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an online depression awareness campaign, which was informed by the theory of planned behavior, to encourage help-seeking attitudes for depression and to enhance mental health literacy in Hong Kong. The second aim was to examine click-through behaviors by varying the affective facial expressions of people in the Facebook advertisements. Methods: Potential participants were recruited through Facebook advertisements, using either a happy or sad face illustration. Volunteer participants registered for the study by clicking on the advertisement and were invited to leave their personal email addresses to receive educational content about depression. The participants were randomly assigned into two groups (campaign or control), and over a four consecutive week period, received either the campaign material or official information developed by the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong. Pretests and posttests were conducted before and after the campaign to measure the differences in help-seeking attitudes and mental health literacy among the campaign and control groups. Results: Of the 199 participants that registered and completed the pretest, 116 (55 campaign and 62 control) completed the campaign and the posttest. At the posttest, we found no significant changes in help-seeking attitudes between the campaign and control groups, but the campaign group participants demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in mental health literacy (P=.031) and a higher willingness to access additional information (P<.001) than the control group. Moreover, the happy face Facebook advertisement attracted more click-throughs by users into the website than did the sad face advertisement (P=.03). Conclusions: The present study provides evidence that an online campaign can enhance people’s mental health literacy. It also demonstrates the practicality and effectiveness of an online depression awareness campaign using a Facebook-based recruitment strategy and distribution of educational materials through emails. It is important for future studies to take advantage of the popularity of online social media and conduct evaluative research on mental health promotion campaigns.

  • Thumbnail image of example text from program.

    Feasibility and Perception of Using Text Messages as an Adjunct Therapy for Low-Income, Minority Mothers With Postpartum Depression

    Abstract:

    Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common medical problem among new mothers that can have a negative impact on infant health. Traditional treatments are often difficult for low-income mothers to complete, particularly given the numerous barriers families face. Objective: Among low-income, primarily racial, and ethnic minority mothers with postpartum depression, our aim was to evaluate (1) the feasibility of sending supportive text messages, and (2) the perception of receiving private, supportive text messages for postpartum depression. Methods: Mothers found to be at risk for postpartum depression received supportive text messages four times weekly for 6 months in addition to receiving access to traditional counseling services based within an academic pediatric office. Feasibility was evaluated along with cellular and text messaging use, access, and perception of the message protocol. Perception of the message protocol was evaluated at study completion via a Likert scale questionnaire and open-ended qualitative survey. Results: In total, 4158/4790 (86.81%) text messages were successfully delivered to 54 mothers over a 6-month period at a low cost (US $777.60). Among the 96 scripted messages, 37 unique messages (38.54%) allowed for a response. Of all sent messages that allowed for responses, 7.30% (118/1616) were responded to, and 66.1% of those responses requested a call back; 46% (25/54) of mothers responded at least once to a text message. Mothers felt that messages were easily received and read (25/28, 89%) and relevant to them personally (23/28, 82%). Most shared texts with others (21/28, 75%). Conclusions: Text messaging is feasible, well-accepted, and may serve as a simple, inexpensive adjunct therapy well-suited to cross socioeconomic boundaries and provide private support for at-risk mothers suffering from postpartum depression.

  • myCompass landing page.

    Breaking Open the Black Box: Isolating the Most Potent Features of a Web and Mobile Phone-Based Intervention for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress

    Abstract:

    Background: Internet-delivered mental health (eMental Health) interventions produce treatment effects similar to those observed in face-to-face treatment. However, there is a large degree of variation in treatment effects observed from program to program, and eMental Health interventions remain somewhat of a black box in terms of the mechanisms by which they exert their therapeutic benefit. Trials of eMental Health interventions typically use large sample sizes and therefore provide an ideal context within which to systematically investigate the therapeutic benefit of specific program features. Furthermore, the growth and impact of mobile phone technology within eMental Health interventions provides an opportunity to examine associations between symptom improvement and the use of program features delivered across computer and mobile phone platforms. Objective: The objective of this study was to identify the patterns of program usage associated with treatment outcome in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a fully automated, mobile phone- and Web-based self-help program, “myCompass”, for individuals with mild-to-moderate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and/or stress. The core features of the program include interactive psychotherapy modules, a symptom tracking feature, short motivational messages, symptom tracking reminders, and a diary, with many of these features accessible via both computer and mobile phone. Methods: Patterns of program usage were recorded for 231 participants with mild-to-moderate depression, anxiety, and/or stress, and who were randomly allocated to receive access to myCompass for seven weeks during the RCT. Depression, anxiety, stress, and functional impairment were examined at baseline and at eight weeks. Results: Log data indicated that the most commonly used components were the short motivational messages (used by 68.4%, 158/231 of participants) and the symptom tracking feature (used by 61.5%, 142/231 of participants). Further, after controlling for baseline symptom severity, increased use of these alert features was associated with significant improvements in anxiety and functional impairment. Associations between use of symptom tracking reminders and improved treatment outcome remained significant after controlling for frequency of symptom tracking. Although correlations were not statistically significant, reminders received via SMS (ie, text message) were more strongly associated with symptom reduction than were reminders received via email. Conclusions: These findings indicate that alerts may be an especially potent component of eMental Health interventions, both via their association with enhanced program usage, as well as independently. Although there was evidence of a stronger association between symptom improvement and use of alerts via the mobile phone platform, the degree of overlap between use of email and SMS alerts may have precluded identification of alert delivery modalities that were most strongly associated with symptom reduction. Future research using random assignment to computer and mobile delivery is needed to fully determine the most ideal platform for delivery of this and other features of online interventions. Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN): 12610000625077; http://www.anzctr.org.au/TrialSearch.aspx? (Archived by WebCite http://www.webcitation.org/6WPqHK0mQ).

  • The image is sourced from the Australian National University Image Library. Attribution to: The Australian National University.

    A Virtual Mental Health Clinic for University Students: A Qualitative Study of End-User Service Needs and Priorities

    Abstract:

    Background: Help seeking for mental health problems among university students is low, and Internet-based interventions such as virtual clinics have the potential to provide private, streamlined, and high quality care to this vulnerable group. Objective: The objective of this study was to conduct focus groups with university students to obtain input on potential functions and features of a university-specific virtual clinic for mental health. Methods: Participants were 19 undergraduate students from an Australian university between 19 and 24 years of age. Focus group discussion was structured by questions that addressed the following topics: (1) the utility and acceptability of a virtual mental health clinic for students, and (2) potential features of a virtual mental health clinic. Results: Participants viewed the concept of a virtual clinic for university students favorably, despite expressing concerns about privacy of personal information. Participants expressed a desire to connect with professionals through the virtual clinic, for the clinic to provide information tailored to issues faced by students, and for the clinic to enable peer-to-peer interaction. Conclusions: Overall, results of the study suggest the potential for virtual clinics to play a positive role in providing students with access to mental health support.

  • (cc) Forchuk et al. CC-BY-SA-2.0, please cite as (http://mental.jmir.org/article/viewFile/3926/1/51898). Mental Health Engagement Network Image.

    Client Perceptions of the Mental Health Engagement Network: A Secondary Analysis of an Intervention Using Smartphones and Desktop Devices for Individuals...

    Abstract:

    Background: The use of innovative technologies in mental health care has the potential to improve system efficiency, enhance quality of care, and increase patient engagement. The Mental Health Engagement Network (MHEN) project developed, delivered, and evaluated an interactive Web-based personal health record, the Lawson SMART Record (LSR), to assist mental health clients in managing their care and connecting with their care providers. This paper presents a secondary analysis of data collected in the MHEN project regarding clients’ perceptions of technology and the use of these technologies in their care. Objective: We aimed to answer six questions: (1) What is the level of comfort with technology within a sample of individuals experiencing mood or psychotic disorders? (2) How easy to use and helpful are the MHEN technologies from the perspective of individuals experiencing a mental illness? (3) Are there differences in how helpful or useful individuals find the smartphone compared to the LSR? (4) Are there specific functions of MHEN technologies (eg, reminders for medications or appointments) that are more valued than others? (5) What are the other ways that individuals are using MHEN technologies in their daily lives? (6) How likely are individuals to be able to retain and maintain their smartphone? Methods: Mental health clients aged 18-80 (N=400) and diagnosed with a mood or psychotic disorder were provided with a smartphone (iPhone 4S) and participating care providers (n=52) were provided with a tablet (iPad) in order to access and engage with the LSR. A delayed implementation design with mixed methods was used. Survey and interview data were collected over the course of 18 months through semistructured interviews conducted by experienced research assistants every 6 months post-implementation of the intervention. Paired t tests were used to determine differences between 6 and 12-month data for perceptions of the MHEN technologies. A paired t test was used to examine whether differences existed between perceptions of the smartphone and the LSR at 12 months post-implementation. Results: Due to dropout or loss of contact, 394 out of 400 individuals completed the study. At the end of the study, 52 devices were lost or unusable. Prior to the intervention, participants reported being comfortable using technology. Perceptions of the MHEN technologies and their functions were generally positive. Positive perceptions of the smartphone increased over time (P=.002), while positive perceptions of the LSR decreased over time (P<.001). Conclusions: Quantitative and qualitative findings from this analysis demonstrated that these technologies positively impacted the lives of individuals experiencing severe mental illnesses and dispeled some of the myths regarding retention of technology among marginalized populations. This secondary analysis supported the acceptability of using mental health technologies within this population and provided considerations for future development. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01473550; http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01473550 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6SLNcoKb8).

  • Image created by John Torous, using an image from http://pixabay.com/en/iphone-cellphone-smartphone-mobile-37856/ which is available free for commercial use and with no attribution required.

    Patient Smartphone Ownership and Interest in Mobile Apps to Monitor Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions: A Survey in Four Geographically Distinct...

    Abstract:

    Background: Despite growing interest in mobile mental health and utilization of smartphone technology to monitor psychiatric symptoms, there remains a lack of knowledge both regarding patient ownership of smartphones and their interest in using such to monitor their mental health. Objective: To provide data on psychiatric outpatients’ prevalence of smartphone ownership and interest in using their smartphones to run applications to monitor their mental health. Methods: We surveyed 320 psychiatric outpatients from four clinics around the United States in order to capture a geographically and socioeconomically diverse patient population. These comprised a state clinic in Massachusetts (n=108), a county clinic in California (n=56), a hybrid public and private clinic in Louisiana (n=50), and a private/university clinic in Wisconsin (n=106). Results: Smartphone ownership and interest in utilizing such to monitor mental health varied by both clinic type and age with overall ownership of 62.5% (200/320), which is slightly higher than the average United States’ rate of ownership of 58% in January 2014. Overall patient interest in utilizing smartphones to monitor symptoms was 70.6% (226/320). Conclusions: These results suggest that psychiatric outpatients are interested in using their smartphones to monitor their mental health and own the smartphones capable of running mental healthcare related mobile applications.

  • Screenshot of the BrainyApp.

    Randomized Comparison of Mobile and Web-Tools to Provide Dementia Risk Reduction Education: Use, Engagement and Participant Satisfaction

    Abstract:

    Background: Encouraging middle-aged adults to maintain their physical and cognitive health may have a significant impact on reducing the prevalence of dementia in the future. Mobile phone apps and interactive websites may be one effective way to target this age group. However, to date there has been little research investigating the user experience of dementia risk reduction tools delivered in this way. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore participant engagement and evaluations of three different targeted smartphone and Web-based dementia risk reduction tools following a four-week intervention. Methods: Participants completed a Web-based screening questionnaire to collect eligibility information. Eligible participants were asked to complete a Web-based baseline questionnaire and were then randomly assigned to use one of the three dementia risk reduction tools for a period of four weeks: (1) a mobile phone application; (2) an information-based website; and (3) an interactive website. User evaluations were obtained via a Web-based follow-up questionnaire after completion of the intervention. Results: Of 415 eligible participants, 370 (89.16%) completed the baseline questionnaire and were assigned to an intervention group; 200 (54.05%) completed the post-intervention questionnaire. The average age of participants was 52 years, and 149 (75%) were female. Findings indicated that participants from all three intervention groups reported a generally positive impression of the tools across a range of domains. Participants using the information-based website reported higher ratings of their overall impression of the tool, F2,191=4.12, P=.02; how interesting the information was, F2,189=3.53, P=.03; how helpful the information was, F2,192=4.15, P=.02; and how much they learned, F2,188=3.86, P=.02. Group differences were significant between the mobile phone app and information-based website users, but not between the interactive website users and the other two groups. Additionally, participants using the information-based website reported significantly higher scores on their ratings of the ease of navigation, F2,190=4.20, P=.02, than those using the mobile phone app and the interactive website. There were no significant differences between groups on ratings of ease of understanding the information, F2,188=0.27, P=.76. Most participants from each of the three intervention groups indicated that they intended to keep using the dementia risk reduction eHealth tool. Conclusions: Overall, results indicated that while participants across all three intervention groups reported a generally positive experience with the targeted dementia risk reduction tools, participants using the information-based website provided a more favorable evaluation across a range of areas than participants using the mobile phone app. Further research is required to investigate whether targeted dementia risk reduction tools, in the form of interactive websites and mobile apps, can be improved to provide benefits above those gained by providing static information alone.

Citing this Article

Right click to copy or hit: ctrl+c (cmd+c on mac)

Latest Submissions Open for Peer-Review:

View All Open Peer Review Articles
  • How to benefit from blended care in mental health care?

    Date Submitted: Apr 14, 2015

    Open Peer Review Period: Apr 20, 2015 - Jun 15, 2015

    Background: Blended care, a combination of online and face-to-face therapy, is increasingly being applied in mental health care to benefit optimally from the advantages both treatment modalities hav...

    Background: Blended care, a combination of online and face-to-face therapy, is increasingly being applied in mental health care to benefit optimally from the advantages both treatment modalities have. Promising results have been reported, but a variety in descriptions and ways of operationalizing blended care exists. Currently, what type of ‘blend’ works for whom, and why, is unclear. Furthermore, a rationale for setting up and initializing blended care often lacks. Objective: In this viewpoint paper, we describe postulates for blended care and provide an instrument (Fit for blended care) that helps therapists and patients to decide on the setup op blended care treatment Methods: The postulates and instrument are based on a review of the literature, and consultations with therapists and clients. Results: Postulates for blended care are presented as well as the ‘Fit for blended care’ instrument which addresses relevant themes that patient and therapist can discuss to set up blended treatment. Conclusions: More research into the reasons why and for whom blended care works, is needed. To benefit from blended care, face-to-face and online care should be combined in such way that the potentials of both treatment modalities are used optimally, depending on patient abilities, needs, and preferences. To facilitate the process of setting up a personalized blended treatment, the ‘fit for blended care’ instrument can be used. By applying this approach in research and practice, more insight into the working mechanisms and optimal (personal) 'blends' of online and face-to-face therapy becomes within reach.