Publications by authors named "Peter Musiat"

26 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Views on online self-help programmes from people with eating disorders and their carers in UK.

Eur J Public Health 2021 07;31(31 Suppl 1):i88-i93

Section of Eating Disorders, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Background: Digitalizing the healthcare system has been declared a priority by the UK government. People with eating disorders (EDs), especially those with bulimia nervosa (BN) or binge eating disorder (BED), and ED carers may benefit from online self-help programmes, due to the shame and stigma associated with EDs and barriers in accessing treatment, skills-training or support. Qualitative studies are needed to explore stakeholders' needs, attitudes to and views about online self-help, to optimize intervention design and delivery.

Methods: Focus groups and telephone interviews were conducted with people with BN or BED, and carers of people with anorexia nervosa, between March and September 2018 in the UK.

Results: People with EDs and carers perceived online self-help positively in the context of barriers to seeking and accessing treatment and support, despite some seeing it as inferior to face-to-face support. Most reported little experience with online interventions. Participants thought the disadvantages of online interventions could be overcome by reminders, progress summaries, regular engagement and engaging with peers. Receiving guidance was seen as an important functionality in the intervention by people with EDs.

Conclusions: People with EDs and their carers are aware of the potential benefits of online self-help despite having little experience with this form of intervention. A stepped-care approach that utilizes technology-based interventions as a first step and makes such interventions available directly to the consumer may fit the attitudes and needs of stakeholders. The study provides a foundation for future research on design and delivery of ED online self-help.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8495677PMC
July 2021

Online prevention programmes for university students: stakeholder perspectives from six European countries.

Eur J Public Health 2021 07;31(31 Suppl 1):i64-i70

King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, London, UK.

Background: Students beginning university are at a heightened risk for developing mental health disorders. Online prevention and early intervention programmes targeting mental health have the potential to reduce this risk, however, previous research has shown uptake to be rather poor. Understanding university stakeholders' (e.g. governing level and delivery staff [DS] and students) views and attitudes towards such online prevention programmes could help with their development, implementation and dissemination within university settings.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews, focus groups and online surveys were completed with staff at a governing level, university students and DS (i.e. student health or teaching staff) from six European countries. They were asked about their experiences with, and needs and attitudes towards, online prevention programmes, as well as the factors that influence the translation of these programmes into real-world settings. Results were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Participating stakeholders knew little about online prevention programmes for university settings; however, they viewed them as acceptable. The main themes to emerge were the basic conditions and content of the programmes, the awareness and engagement, the resources needed, the usability and the responsibility and ongoing efforts to increase reach.

Conclusions: Overall, although these stakeholders had little knowledge about online prevention programmes, they were open to the idea of introducing them. They could see the potential benefits that these programmes might bring to a university setting as a whole and the individual students and staff members.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckab040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8495721PMC
July 2021

Students' perceptions of an online mental health intervention: a qualitative interview study.

Neuropsychiatr 2020 Dec 28. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, Box P059, SE5 8AF, London, UK.

Background: University students are at a heightened risk of developing mental health disorders. Online interventions are becoming increasingly popular in this target group, both to prevent the development of mental health disorders and to treat existing ones. The PLUS (Personality and Living of University Students) programme is a web-based targeted prevention intervention which has been tested across two European countries. Completion of this programme has been relatively poor. Understanding university students' opinions, experiences and perceptions of the PLUS programme can lead to future improvements in intervention design, engagement and dissemination.

Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with university students from the UK (n = 10) and Austria (n = 14) who had previously had access to PLUS. Students were asked about their perception and experiences of the programme, and how it could be improved. Results were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: Experience of online prevention programmes in general were limited and as a result of this, few had specific expectations of the PLUS programme before signing up. The lack of guidance and accountability due to the online nature of the programme made engagement challenging for many, however, frequent reminder emails helped mitigate this. In terms of positives of the programme, participants found the flexibility suitable for students and many noticed that the programme created change in how they thought or behaved.

Conclusion: Overall, the PLUS programme was well received by students, despite study retention being poor. Although PLUS was viewed as a useful tool to integrate into the university setting, several improvements were suggested to increase engagement. By considering this feedback, uptake and intervention completion can be improved for future preventative interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40211-020-00383-5DOI Listing
December 2020

Innovative Self-Confidence Webinar Intervention for Depression in the Workplace: A Focus Group Study and Systematic Development.

Behav Sci (Basel) 2020 Dec 16;10(12). Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London, London SE5 8AF, UK.

Brief face-to-face self-confidence workshops were effective in reducing depression among the public. Technological advances have enabled traditional face-to-face interventions to be adapted using unique technology-mediated platforms. This article details the formative development of a self-confidence web-based seminar (webinar) intervention for workplace depression. The first section discusses a qualitative study that explores the feasibility and acceptability of adapting the self-confidence workshops into a webinar platform on employees in the workplace. The second section describes the systematic development of this new webinar intervention informed by the qualitative study findings, a published systematic review, and previous face-to-face self-confidence workshops. The qualitative study involves three focus groups ( = 10) conducted in a small organization. Three themes were identified relevant to the running of the new self-confidence webinars in the workplace: personal (content, time and duration preference, features of the webinar, individual participation, personalization), interpersonal (stigma from others, engagement with participants/presenter, moderated interaction), and organizational (endorsement from management, work demand). For the intervention development, the format, structure, features, and content of the self-confidence webinar intervention are described. Features such as file sharing, virtual whiteboard, live chat, and poll are explained with the intervention primarily based on cognitive behavior therapy and coping flexibility concepts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/bs10120193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7765479PMC
December 2020

Exploring Participants' Experiences of a Web-Based Program for Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder: Qualitative Study.

J Med Internet Res 2020 09 23;22(9):e17880. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Guided cognitive behavioral self-help is a recommended first-line treatment for eating disorders (EDs) such as bulimia nervosa (BN) or binge eating disorder (BED). Online versions of such self-help programs are increasingly being studied in randomized controlled trials (RCTs), with some evidence that they can reduce ED symptoms, although intervention dropout is variable across interventions. However, in-depth research into participants' experiences and views on the acceptability of web-based interventions is limited.

Objective: This is a qualitative process study of participants' experiences of everyBody Plus, a web-based cognitive behavioral intervention, integrated into a large RCT to aid the interpretation of the main trial's results. To our knowledge, this is the first such study in digital intervention for EDs research to include real-time feedback into the qualitative analysis. This study aims to build upon the emerging literature by qualitatively exploring participants' experiences of a web-based intervention for BN and BED.

Methods: Participants were those who took part in the UK arm of a larger RCT investigating the efficacy of the everyBody Plus intervention. Reflexive thematic analysis was completed on 2 sources of data from the online platform: real-time feedback quotes provided at the end of completing a module on the platform (N=104) and semistructured telephone interview transcripts (n=12).

Results: Four main themes were identified. The first theme identified positive and negative user experiences, with a desire for a more customized and personalized intervention. Another theme positively reflected on how flexible and easy the intervention was to embed into daily life, compared with the silo of face-to-face therapy. The third theme identified how the intervention had a holistic impact cognitively, emotionally, interpersonally, and behaviorally. The final theme was related to how the intervention was not a one size fits all and how the perceived usefulness and relevance were often dependent on participants' demographic and clinical characteristics.

Conclusions: Overall, participants reported positive experiences with the use of the everyBody Plus web-based intervention, including flexibility of use and the potential to holistically impact people's lives. The participants also provided valuable suggestions for how similar future web-based interventions could be improved and, in the context of EDs, how programs can be designed to be more inclusive of people by encompassing different demographic and clinical characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/17880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7542406PMC
September 2020

A Digital Infrastructure for Storing & Sharing Internet of Things, Wearables and App-Based Research Study Data.

Stud Health Technol Inform 2020 Mar;268:87-96

Flinders Digital Health Research Centre and Caring Futures Institute, College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia.

In health and behavioural sciences, there has been a shift towards use of mobile, wearable and IoT based frequent granular data collection strategies to capture temporal patterns and environmental changes. There are a wide range of free and easy-to-use services that allow researchers to design and deploy intermittent assessments and surveys. However, there is a lack of tools suitable for frequent or real-time data collection. This paper outlines DROPS (Flinders Data Repository for Open Science) software infrastructure, that provides an easy-to-use web-based service for researchers to upload real-time research study data gathered from study participants devices into cloud storage as well as coordinate sharing of data with other researchers for secondary research. The infrastructure developed by Flinders University as part of a collaboration project with the Australian National Data Service, runs on a server, receives the data through an API interface, and stores in a no-SQL database. The solution eliminates the barriers of setting up back-end infrastructure to manage the reception and storage of research data assessed in real-time environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/SHTI200008DOI Listing
March 2020

Adherence Reporting in Randomized Controlled Trials Examining Manualized Multisession Online Interventions: Systematic Review of Practices and Proposal for Reporting Standards.

J Med Internet Res 2019 08 15;21(8):e14181. Epub 2019 Aug 15.

Faculty of Psychology, School of Science, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Background: Adherence reflects the extent to which individuals experience or engage with the content of online interventions and poses a major challenge. Neglecting to examine and report adherence and its relation to outcomes can compromise the interpretation of research findings.

Objective: The aim of this systematic review is to analyze how adherence is accounted for in publications and to propose standards for measuring and reporting adherence to online interventions.

Methods: We performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials on online interventions for the prevention and treatment of common mental disorders (depression, anxiety disorders, substance related disorders, and eating disorders) published between January 2006 and May 2018 and indexed in Medline and Web of Science. We included primary publications on manualized online treatments (more than 1 session and successive access to content) and examined how adherence was reported in these publications.

Results: We identified 216 publications that met our inclusion criteria. Adherence was addressed in 85% of full-text manuscripts, but only in 31% of abstracts. A median of three usage metrics were reported; the most frequently reported usage metric (61%) was intervention completion. Manuscripts published in specialized electronic health journals more frequently included information on the relation of adherence and outcomes.

Conclusions: We found substantial variety in the reporting of adherence and the usage metrics used to operationalize adherence. This limits the comparability of results and impedes the integration of findings from different studies. Based on our findings, we propose reporting standards for future publications on online interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/14181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6713038PMC
August 2019

Internet-Based Interventions for Carers of Individuals With Psychiatric Disorders, Neurological Disorders, or Brain Injuries: Systematic Review.

J Med Internet Res 2019 07 9;21(7):e10876. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Section of Eating Disorders, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Nonprofessional carers who provide support to an individual with a psychiatric or neurological disorder will often themselves experience symptoms of stress, anxiety, or low mood, and they perceive that they receive little support. Internet-based interventions have previously been found to be effective in the prevention and treatment of a range of mental health difficulties in carers.

Objective: This review seeks to establish the status of internet-based interventions for informal (nonprofessional) carers of people with psychiatric or neurological disorders by investigating (1) the number and quality of studies evaluating the efficacy or effectiveness of internet-based carer interventions and (2) the impact that such interventions have on carer mental health, as well as (3) how internet-based interventions compare with other intervention types (eg, face-to-face treatment).

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in January 2019 using the EMBASE (1974-present), Ovid MEDLINE (1946-present), PsychARTICLES, PsychINFO (1806-present), and Global Health (1973-present) databases, via the Ovid Technologies database. Search terms included carer, caregiver, online, technology, internet-based, internet, interactive, intervention, and evaluation. Studies selected for inclusion in this review met the following predetermined criteria: (1) delivering an intervention aimed primarily at informal carers, (2) carers supporting individuals with psychiatric disorders, stroke, dementia, or brain injury, (3) the intervention delivered to the carers was primarily internet based, (4) the study reported a pre- and postquantitative measure of carer depression, anxiety, stress, burden, or quality of life, (5) appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, and (6) was accessible in English.

Results: A total of 46 studies were identified for inclusion through the detailed search strategy. The search was conducted, and data were extracted independently by 2 researchers. The majority of studies reported that 1 or more measures relating to carer mental health improved following receipt of a relevant intervention, with interventions for carers of people with traumatic brain injury showing a consistent link with improved outcomes.

Conclusions: Studies investigating internet-based interventions for carers of individuals with diverse psychiatric or neurological difficulties show some evidence in support of the effectiveness of these interventions. In addition, such interventions are acceptable to carers. Available evidence is of varying quality, and more high-quality trials are needed. Further research should also establish how specific intervention components, such as structure or interactivity, contribute to their overall efficacy with regard to carer mental health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/10876DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6647754PMC
July 2019

Evaluating the Feasibility of an Innovative Self-Confidence Webinar Intervention for Depression in the Workplace: A Proof-of-Concept Study.

JMIR Ment Health 2019 Apr 26;6(4):e11401. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Depression in the workplace is a very common problem that exacerbates employees' functioning and consequently influences the productivity of organizations. Despite the commonness of the problem and the currently available interventions, a high proportion of employees do not seek help. A new intervention, a webinar (Web-based seminar), was developed, which integrated the use of technology and the traditional guided therapist support to provide accessible help for the problem of depression in the workplace.

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility, preliminary outcome, and acceptability of the webinar intervention conducted in organizations.

Methods: In total, 2 organizations were invited to participate, and 33 employees participated in this proof-of-concept study. The webinar intervention consisted of 6 1-hour sessions conducted via the Adobe Connect platform, developed by Adobe Inc. The intervention was developed based on a systematic review, focus group studies, and face-to-face self-confidence workshops that utilized cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The final webinar intervention used CBT and the coping flexibility approach. The structure of the intervention included PowerPoint presentations, animation videos, utilization of chat panels, and whiteboard features. The intervention was conducted live and guided by a consultant psychologist assisted by a moderator. Study outcomes were self-assessed using self-reported Web surveys. The acceptability of the intervention was assessed using self-reported user experience Web surveys and open-ended questions.

Results: The findings showed: (1) evidence of feasibility of the intervention: the webinar intervention was successfully conducted in 3 groups, with 6 1-hour sessions for each group, with 82% (23/28) participants completing all 6 sessions; (2) positive improvements in depression: the linear mixed effects modeling analysis recorded a significant overall effect of time primarily for depression (F=31.524; P<.001) with a Hedge g effect size of 0.522 at 1-month follow-up. Individually, 8 subjects showed significant reliable and clinically significant changes, with 3 subjects showing clinically significant change only; and (3) encouraging evidence regarding the acceptability of the webinar intervention among the employees: the user experience score was above average for 4 out of 6 domains measured (perspicuity mean 1.198 [95% CI 0.832-1.564], efficiency mean 1.000 [95% CI 0.571-1.429], dependability mean 1.208 [95% CI 0.899-1.517], and stimulation mean 1.323 [95% CI 0.987-1.659]). The open-ended questions also yielded 52% (47/91) of the responses that reported facilitators, whereas only 12% (11/91) of the responses reported barriers.

Conclusions: The self-confidence webinar intervention appears to be a potentially feasible, effective, and acceptable intervention for depression in the workplace that merits further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/11401DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6658313PMC
April 2019

A web-based intervention for carers of individuals with anorexia nervosa (We Can): Trial protocol of a randomised controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of different levels of support.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 22;16:76-85. Epub 2018 Feb 22.

King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Section of Eating Disorders, PO Box 59, 16, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF, UK.

Background: Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a life-threatening mental disorder that is associated with substantial caregiver burden. Carers of individuals with AN report high levels of distress and self-blame, and insufficient knowledge to help their loved ones. However, carers can have a very important role to play in aiding recovery from AN, and are often highly motivated to assist in the treatment process. This manuscript presents the protocol for a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of We Can, a web-based intervention for carers for people with AN. The study aims to investigate the effectiveness of We Can delivered with different intensities of support.

Methods: The study takes the form of a multi-site, two-country, three group RCT, comparing We Can (a) with clinician messaging support (We Can-Ind), (b) with moderated carer chatroom support (We Can-Chat) and (c) with online forum only (We Can-Forum). Participants will be 303 carers of individuals with AN as well as, where possible, the individuals with AN themselves. Recruitment will be via specialist eating disorder services and carer support services in the UK and Germany. Randomisation of carers to one of the three intervention conditions in a 1:1:1 ratio will be stratified by whether or not the individual with AN has (a) agreed to participate in the study and (b) is a current inpatient. The We Can intervention will be provided to carers online over a period of 12 weeks. Participants will complete self-report questionnaires at pre-intervention (T1), mid-intervention (mediators only; 4-weeks post-randomisation), post-intervention (T2; 3-months post randomisation), and 6 months (T3) and 12 months (T4) after randomisation. The primary outcome variables are carer symptoms of depression and anxiety. Secondary outcome variables will be measured in both carers and individuals with AN. Secondary carer outcome variables will include alcohol and drug use and quality of life, caregiving behaviour, and the acceptability and use of We Can and associated supports. Secondary outcomes measured in individuals with AN will include eating disorder symptoms, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. The study will also evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the three We Can conditions, and test for mediators and moderators of the effects of We Can. The trial is registered at the International Standard Randomisation Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) database, registration number: ISRCTN11399850.

Discussion: The study will provide insight into the effectiveness of We Can and its optimal method/s of delivery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.02.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364327PMC
April 2019

Web-based indicated prevention of common mental disorders in university students in four European countries - Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 15;16:35-42. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Section of Eating Disorders, PO59, 16 De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom.

Background: Mental disorders and their symptoms are highly prevalent in the university student population, and the transition from secondary to tertiary education is associated with a rise in mental health problems. Existing web-based interventions for the prevention of common mental disorders in student populations often focus on just one disorder and have not been designed specifically for students. There is thus a need for transdiagnostic, student-specific preventative interventions that can be widely disseminated. This two-arm, parallel group randomised controlled trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a web-based transdiagnostic mental health problem prevention programme (PLUS) across several universities in four countries.

Method: Students ( = 5550) will be recruited through a variety of channels and asked to complete a personality assessment to determine whether they are at high risk for developing common mental disorders. Students at high risk will be randomly allocated to either PLUS or a control intervention, which provides practical support around issues commonly experienced at university. Students at low risk will be allocated to the control intervention. Both intervention groups will be assessed at baseline, 4 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after randomisation. Depression and generalised anxiety, assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire and the Generalised Anxiety Disorder scales, will form the primary outcomes in this study. Secondary outcome measures include alcohol and drug use, eating behaviour, self-esteem, and quality of life. The cost-effectiveness of the intervention will also be evaluated.

Conclusions: This study will contribute to understanding the role of transdiagnostic indicated web-based interventions for the prevention of common mental disorders in university students. It will also be one of the first studies to investigate the cost-effectiveness of such interventions.

Trial Registration: This trial was registered in the ISRCTN register (ISRCTN15570935) on 12th February 2016.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.02.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364328PMC
April 2019

Using internet-based self-help to bridge waiting time for face-to-face outpatient treatment for Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and related disorders: Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial.

Internet Interv 2019 Apr 26;16:26-34. Epub 2018 Feb 26.

Technische Universität Dresden, Institut für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie, Chemnitzer Str. 46, D-01187 Dresden, Germany.

Background: Eating disorders are serious conditions associated with an impaired health-related quality of life and increased healthcare utilization and costs. Despite the existence of evidence-based treatments, access to treatment is often delayed due to insufficient health care resources. Internet-based self-help interventions may have the potential to successfully bridge waiting time for face-to-face outpatient treatment and, thus, contribute to overcoming treatment gaps. However, little is known about the feasibility of implementing such interventions into routine healthcare. The aim of this study is to analyze the effects and feasibility of an Internet-based self-help intervention (everyBody Plus) specifically designed for patients with Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED) on a waiting list for outpatient face-to-face treatment. The aim of this paper is to describe the study protocol.

Methods: A multi-country randomized controlled trial will be conducted in Germany and the UK. N = 275 female patients awaiting outpatient treatment will be randomly allocated either to the guided online self-help intervention "everyBody Plus" or a waitlist control group condition without access to the intervention. everyBody Plus comprises eight weekly sessions that cover topics related to eating and exercise patterns, coping with negative emotions and stress as well as improving body image. Participants will receive weekly individualized feedback based on their self-monitoring and journal entries. Assessments will take place at baseline, post-intervention as well as at 6- and 12-months follow up. In addition, all participants will be asked to monitor core eating disorder symptoms weekly to provide data on the primary outcome. The primary outcome will be number of weeks after randomization until a patient achieves a clinically relevant improvement in core symptoms (BMI, binge eating, compensatory behaviors) for the first time. Secondary outcomes include frequency of core symptoms and eating disorder related attitudes and behaviors, as well as associated psychopathology. Additional secondary outcomes will be the participating therapists' confidence in treating eating disorders as well as perceived benefits of everyBody Plus for patients.

Discussion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first randomized controlled trial examining the effects of Internet-based self-help for outpatients with eating disorders awaiting face-to-face outpatient treatment. If proven to be effective and successfully implemented, Internet-based self-help programs might be used as a first step of treatment within a stepped-care approach, thus reducing burden and cost for both patients and health care providers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2018.02.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364326PMC
April 2019

Developing a Third-Party Analytics Application Using Australia's National Personal Health Records System: Case Study.

JMIR Med Inform 2018 Apr 24;6(2):e28. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: My Health Record (MyHR) is Australia's national electronic health record (EHR) system. Poor usability and functionality have resulted in low utility, affecting enrollment and participation rates by both patients and clinicians alike. Similar to apps on mobile phone app stores, innovative third-party applications of MyHR platform data can enhance the usefulness of the platform, but there is a paucity of research into the processes involved in developing third-party applications that integrate and use data from EHR systems.

Objective: The research describes the challenges involved in pioneering the development of a patient and clinician Web-based software application for MyHR and insights resulting from this experience.

Methods: This research uses a case study approach, investigating the development and implementation of Actionable Intime Insights (AI), a third-party application for MyHR, which translates Medicare claims records stored in MyHR into a clinically meaningful timeline visualization of health data for both patients and clinicians. This case study identifies the challenges encountered by the Personal Health Informatics team from Flinders University in the MyHR third-party application development environment.

Results: The study presents a nuanced understanding of different data types and quality of data in MyHR and the complexities associated with developing secondary-use applications. Regulatory requirements associated with utilization of MyHR data, restrictions on visualizations of data, and processes of testing third-party applications were encountered during the development of the application.

Conclusions: This study identified several processes, technical and regulatory barriers which, if addressed, can make MyHR a thriving ecosystem of health applications. It clearly identifies opportunities and considerations for the Australian Digital Health Agency and other national bodies wishing to encourage the development of new and innovative use cases for national EHRs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/medinform.7710DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5941094PMC
April 2018

Systematic review of universal and targeted workplace interventions for depression.

Occup Environ Med 2018 01 26;75(1):66-75. Epub 2017 Oct 26.

Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London, London, UK.

Depression is increasingly being recognised as a significant mental health problem in the workplace contributing to productivity loss and economic burden to organisations. This paper reviews recently published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of universal and targeted interventions to reduce depression in the workplace. Studies were identified through searches of EMBASE, MEDLINE/PubMed, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES Full Text, and Global Health and Social Policy and Practice databases. Studies were included if they included an RCT of a workplace intervention for employees targeting depression as the primary outcome. Twenty-two published RCTs investigating interventions utilising various therapeutic approaches were identified. The cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach is the most frequently used in the workplace, while interventions that combine different therapeutic approaches showed the most promising results. A universal intervention in the workplace that combines CBT and coping flexibility recorded the highest effect size (d=1.45 at 4 months' follow-up). Most interventions were delivered in group format and showed low attrition rates compared with other delivery formats. Although all studies reviewed were RCTs, the quality of reporting is low. Interventions using different therapeutic approaches with different modes of delivery have been used. Most of these interventions were shown to reduce depression levels among employees in the workplace, particularly those that combine more than one therapeutic approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2017-104532DOI Listing
January 2018

Efficacy of a Web-Based Guided Recommendation Service for a Curated List of Readily Available Mental Health and Well-Being Mobile Apps for Young People: Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Med Internet Res 2017 05 12;19(5):e141. Epub 2017 May 12.

Digital Psychiatry & Personal Health Informatics Group, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Clovelly Park, Australia.

Background: Mental disorders are highly prevalent for the people who are aged between 16 and 25 years and can permanently disrupt the development of these individuals. Easily available mobile health (mHealth) apps for mobile phones have great potential for the prevention and early intervention of mental disorders in young adults, but interventions are required that can help individuals to both identify high-quality mobile apps and use them to change health and lifestyle behavior.

Objectives: The study aimed to assess the efficacy of a Web-based self-guided app recommendation service ("The Toolbox") in improving the well-being of young Australians aged between 16 and 25 years. The intervention was developed in collaboration with young adults and consists of a curated list of 46 readily available health and well-being apps, assessed and rated by professionals and young people. Participants are guided by an interactive quiz and subsequently receive recommendations for particular apps to download and use based on their personal goals.

Methods: The study was a waitlist, parallel-arm, randomized controlled trial. Our primary outcome measure was change in well-being as measured by the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF). We also employed ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) to track mood, energy, rest, and sleep. Participants were recruited from the general Australian population, via several Web-based and community strategies. The study was conducted through a Web-based platform consisting of a landing Web page and capabilities to administer study measures at different time points. Web-based measurements were self-assessed at baseline and 4 weeks, and EMAs were collected repeatedly at regular weekly intervals or ad hoc when participants interacted with the study platform. Primary outcomes were analyzed using linear mixed-models and intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis.

Results: A total of 387 participants completed baseline scores and were randomized into the trial. Results demonstrated no significant effect of "The Toolbox" intervention on participant well-being at 4 weeks compared with the control group (P=.66). There were also no significant differences between the intervention and control groups at 4 weeks on any of the subscales of the MHC-SF (psychological: P=.95, social: P=.42, emotional: P=.95). Repeat engagement with the study platform resulted in a significant difference in mood, energy, rest, and sleep trajectories between intervention and control groups as measured by EMAs (P<.01).

Conclusions: This was the first study to assess the effectiveness of a Web-based well-being intervention in a sample of young adults. The design of the intervention utilized expert rating of existing apps and end-user codesign approaches resulting in an app recommendation service. Our finding suggests that recommended readily available mental health and well-being apps may not lead to improvements in the well-being of a nonclinical sample of young people, but might halt a decline in mood, energy, rest, and sleep.

Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): ACTRN12614000710628; https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=366145 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/ 6pWDsnKme).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.6775DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5446666PMC
May 2017

Single-Session Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Temporarily Improves Symptoms, Mood, and Self-Regulatory Control in Bulimia Nervosa: A Randomised Controlled Trial.

PLoS One 2017 25;12(1):e0167606. Epub 2017 Jan 25.

Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Evidence suggests that pathological eating behaviours in bulimia nervosa (BN) are underpinned by alterations in reward processing and self-regulatory control, and by functional changes in neurocircuitry encompassing the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Manipulation of this region with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) may therefore alleviate symptoms of the disorder.

Objective: This double-blind sham-controlled proof-of-principle trial investigated the effects of bilateral tDCS over the DLPFC in adults with BN.

Methods: Thirty-nine participants (two males) received three sessions of tDCS in a randomised and counterbalanced order: anode right/cathode left (AR/CL), anode left/cathode right (AL/CR), and sham. A battery of psychological/neurocognitive measures was completed before and after each session and the frequency of bulimic behaviours during the following 24-hours was recorded.

Results: AR/CL tDCS reduced eating disorder cognitions (indexed by the Mizes Eating Disorder Cognitions Questionnaire-Revised) when compared to AL/CR and sham tDCS. Both active conditions suppressed the self-reported urge to binge-eat and increased self-regulatory control during a temporal discounting task. Compared to sham stimulation, mood (assessed with the Profile of Mood States) improved after AR/CL but not AL/CR tDCS. Lastly, the three tDCS sessions had comparable effects on the wanting/liking of food and on bulimic behaviours during the 24 hours post-stimulation.

Conclusions: These data suggest that single-session tDCS transiently improves symptoms of BN. They also help to elucidate possible mechanisms of action and highlight the importance of selecting the optimal electrode montage. Multi-session trials are needed to determine whether tDCS has potential for development as a treatment for adult BN.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0167606PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5266208PMC
August 2017

People, processes, and systems: An observational study of the role of technology in rural youth mental health services.

Int J Ment Health Nurs 2017 Jun 23;26(3):259-272. Epub 2016 Nov 23.

Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.

The merits of technology-based mental health service reform have been widely debated among academics, practitioners, and policy makers. The design of new technologies must first be predicated on a detailed appreciation of how the mental health system works before it can be improved or changed through the introduction of new products and services. Further work is required to better understand the nature of face-to-face mental health work and to translate this knowledge to computer scientists and system designers responsible for creating technology-based solutions. Intensive observation of day-to-day work within two rural youth mental health services in South Australia, Australia, was undertaken to understand how technology could be designed and implemented to enhance young people's engagement with services and improve their experience of help seeking. Data were analysed through a lens of complexity theory. Results highlight the variety of professional roles and services that can comprise the mental health system. The level of interconnectedness evident in the system contrasted with high levels of service self-organization and disjointed information flow. A mental health professional's work was guided by two main constructs: risk and engagement. Most clients presented with a profile of disability, disadvantage, and isolation, so complex client presentations and decision-making were core practices. Clients (and frequently, their families) engaged with services in a crisis-dependent manner, characterized by multiple disengagements and re-engagements over time. While significant opportunities exist to integrate technology into existing youth mental health services, technologies for this space must be usable for a broad range of medical, psychological and cognitive disability, social disadvantage, and accommodate repeat cycles of engagement/disengagement over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/inm.12262DOI Listing
June 2017

Paid and Unpaid Online Recruitment for Health Interventions in Young Adults.

J Adolesc Health 2016 12 20;59(6):662-667. Epub 2016 Sep 20.

Flinders Human Behaviour and Health Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia; Mental Health Informatics Research Unit, Country Health SA LHN Inc, Adelaide, Australia; Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, Abbotsford, Australia.

Purpose: There is a growing need to identify new and innovative approaches to recruit representative samples of young adults in health intervention research. The current study used a data set of screening information from an online well-being intervention trial of young adults, to investigate cost-effectiveness of different recruitment strategies and whether the clinical and demographic characteristics of participants differed depending on paid or unpaid online recruitment sources.

Methods: Data were collected from 334 18- to 25-year-old Australians. The study was advertised through a variety of paid and unpaid online recruitment channels (e.g., Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, recruitment agency), with response rates to different recruitment channels tracked using unique Web links. Well-being of participants was measured using the Mental Health Continuum Short Form. Analyses consisted of independent t tests and χ tests.

Results: Overall, unpaid recruitment channels had a considerably higher yield than paid recruitment channels. Of paid recruitment channels, a recruitment agency and paid Facebook advertisements attracted the largest number of individuals. This study also found differences between paid and unpaid online recruitment channels with regard to the well-being and mood of participants.

Conclusions: Although the success of online recruitment channels is likely subject to a complex interplay between the number of exposures, the targeted sample, the wording, and placement of the advertisement, as well as study characteristics, our study demonstrated that unpaid recruitment channels are more effective than paid channels and that paid and unpaid channels may result in samples with different characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.07.020DOI Listing
December 2016

Increased temporal discounting in bulimia nervosa.

Int J Eat Disord 2016 Dec 15;49(12):1077-1081. Epub 2016 Jun 15.

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Objective: There is evidence that people with eating disorders display altered intertemporal choice behavior (the degree of preference for immediate rewards over delayed rewards). Compared to healthy controls (HC), individuals with anorexia nervosa and binge-eating disorder show decreased and increased rates of temporal discounting (TD; the devaluation of delayed rewards), respectively. This is the first study to investigate TD in people with bulimia nervosa (BN).

Method: Thirty-nine individuals with BN (2 men) and 53 HC (9 men) completed a hypothetical monetary TD task. Over 80 binary choices, participants chose whether they would prefer to receive a smaller amount of money available immediately or a larger amount available in 3 months. Self-reported ability to delay gratification (the behavioral opposite of TD) was also measured.

Results: Individuals with BN showed greater TD (i.e., a preference for smaller-sooner rewards) and a decreased self-reported capacity to delay gratification relative to HC. Experimental groups did not differ in age, gender ratio, or BMI.

Discussion: Increased rates of TD may contribute to some of the core symptoms of BN that appear to involve making choices between immediate and delayed rewards (i.e., binge-eating and compensatory behaviors). Altered intertemporal choice behavior could therefore be a relevant target for intervention in this patient group. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2016; 49:1077-1081).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.22571DOI Listing
December 2016

Neuro- and social-cognitive clustering highlights distinct profiles in adults with anorexia nervosa.

Int J Eat Disord 2015 Jan 3;48(1):26-34. Epub 2014 Nov 3.

Department of Psychological Medicine, Section of Eating Disorders, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom.

Objective: This study aimed to explore the neuro- and social-cognitive profile of a consecutive series of adult outpatients with anorexia nervosa (AN) when compared with widely available age and gender matched historical control data. The relationship between performance profiles, clinical characteristics, service utilization, and treatment adherence was also investigated.

Method: Consecutively recruited outpatients with a broad diagnosis of AN (restricting subtype AN-R: n = 44, binge-purge subtype AN-BP: n = 33 or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified-AN subtype EDNOS-AN: n = 23) completed a comprehensive set of neurocognitive (set-shifting, central coherence) and social-cognitive measures (Emotional Theory of Mind). Data were subjected to hierarchical cluster analysis and a discriminant function analysis.

Results: Three separate, meaningful clusters emerged. Cluster 1 (n = 45) showed overall average to high average neuro- and social- cognitive performance, Cluster 2 (n = 38) showed mixed performance characterized by distinct strengths and weaknesses, and Cluster 3 (n = 17) showed poor overall performance (Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD) like cluster). The three clusters did not differ in terms of eating disorder symptoms, comorbid features or service utilization and treatment adherence. A discriminant function analysis confirmed that the clusters were best characterized by performance in perseveration and set-shifting measures.

Discussion: The findings suggest that considerable neuro- and social-cognitive heterogeneity exists in patients with AN, with a subset showing ASD-like features. The value of this method of profiling in predicting longer term patient outcomes and in guiding development of etiologically targeted treatments remains to be seen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eat.22366DOI Listing
January 2015

An investigation of interoceptive sensitivity in eating disorders using a heartbeat detection task and a self-report measure.

Eur Eat Disord Rev 2014 Sep 1;22(5):383-8. Epub 2014 Jul 1.

Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK; Section of Eating Disorders, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.

Background: Interoception has been proposed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of eating disorders (EDs).

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine a heart beat detection task (HBDT) as an objective index of interoceptive sensitivity in individuals with an ED.

Method: The self-report interoceptive deficits subscale of the Eating Disorders Inventory 3 was also used.

Results: The results of the HBDT demonstrated no significant difference between individuals with an ED and healthy controls. However, performance on this task also did not appear to be different from that expected by chance. Thus, these results cast doubt on the utility of the present HBDT for measuring interoceptive sensitivity.

Conclusion: Overall, the findings indicate that further research is needed to develop valid, objective measures of interoceptive sensitivity to be used in EDs, so as to overcome the reliance on the Eating Disorders Inventory 3 self-report subscale and to determine how such measures relate to ED and general psychopathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/erv.2305DOI Listing
September 2014

Targeted prevention of common mental health disorders in university students: randomised controlled trial of a transdiagnostic trait-focused web-based intervention.

PLoS One 2014 15;9(4):e93621. Epub 2014 Apr 15.

Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom.

Background: A large proportion of university students show symptoms of common mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, substance use disorders and eating disorders. Novel interventions are required that target underlying factors of multiple disorders.

Aims: To evaluate the efficacy of a transdiagnostic trait-focused web-based intervention aimed at reducing symptoms of common mental disorders in university students.

Method: Students were recruited online (n=1047, age: M=21.8, SD=4.2) and categorised into being at high or low risk for mental disorders based on their personality traits. Participants were allocated to a cognitive-behavioural trait-focused (n=519) or a control intervention (n=528) using computerised simple randomisation. Both interventions were fully automated and delivered online (trial registration: ISRCTN14342225). Participants were blinded and outcomes were self-assessed at baseline, at 6 weeks and at 12 weeks after registration. Primary outcomes were current depression and anxiety, assessed on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9) and Generalised Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD7). Secondary outcome measures focused on alcohol use, disordered eating, and other outcomes.

Results: Students at high risk were successfully identified using personality indicators and reported poorer mental health. A total of 520 students completed the 6-week follow-up and 401 students completed the 12-week follow-up. Attrition was high across intervention groups, but comparable to other web-based interventions. Mixed effects analyses revealed that at 12-week follow up the trait-focused intervention reduced depression scores by 3.58 (p<.001, 95%CI [5.19, 1.98]) and anxiety scores by 2.87 (p=.018, 95%CI [1.31, 4.43]) in students at high risk. In high-risk students, between group effect sizes were 0.58 (depression) and 0.42 (anxiety). In addition, self-esteem was improved. No changes were observed regarding the use of alcohol or disordered eating.

Conclusions: This study suggests that a transdiagnostic web-based intervention for university students targeting underlying personality risk factors may be a promising way of preventing common mental disorders with a low-intensity intervention.

Trial Registration: ControlledTrials.com ISRCTN14342225.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0093621PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3988039PMC
January 2015

Understanding the acceptability of e-mental health--attitudes and expectations towards computerised self-help treatments for mental health problems.

BMC Psychiatry 2014 Apr 11;14:109. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, PO-Box 077, London SE5 8AF, UK.

Background: E-mental health and m-mental health include the use of technology in the prevention, treatment and aftercare of mental health problems. With the economical pressure on mental health services increasing, e-mental health and m-mental health could bridge treatment gaps, reduce waiting times for patients and deliver interventions at lower costs. However, despite the existence of numerous effective interventions, the transition of computerised interventions into care is slow. The aim of the present study was to investigate the acceptability of e-mental health and m-mental health in the general population.

Methods: An advisory group of service users identified dimensions that potentially influence an individual's decision to engage with a particular treatment for mental health problems. A large sample (N = 490) recruited through email, flyers and social media was asked to rate the acceptability of different treatment options for mental health problems on these domains. Results were analysed using repeated measures MANOVA.

Results: Participants rated the perceived helpfulness of an intervention, the ability to motivate users, intervention credibility, and immediate access without waiting time as most important dimensions with regard to engaging with a treatment for mental health problems. Participants expected face-to-face therapy to meet their needs on most of these dimensions. Computerised treatments and smartphone applications for mental health were reported to not meet participants' expectations on most domains. However, these interventions scored higher than face-to-face treatments on domains associated with the convenience of access. Overall, participants reported a very low likelihood of using computerised treatments for mental health in the future.

Conclusions: Individuals in this study expressed negative views about computerised self-help intervention and low likelihood of use in the future. To improve the implementation and uptake, policy makers need to improve the public perception of such interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-14-109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999507PMC
April 2014

Association Splitting: feasibility study of a novel technique to reduce weight and shape concerns.

Eat Weight Disord 2014 Jun 28;19(2):153-8. Epub 2014 Mar 28.

Section of Eating Disorders, PO77, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF, UK,

Unlabelled: Weight and shape concerns are core aspects of eating disorders and can have an intrusive and obsessive character. Such thoughts play an important role in the development and maintenance of eating disorders and seem to be a result of dysfunctional cognitive networks. Association Splitting, a novel intervention for obsessive-compulsive disorders, targets such dysfunctional networks.

Aims: To adapt Association Splitting for the reduction of weight- and shape-related cognitions in students with high weight and shape concerns.

Methods: Thirteen students with high weight and shape concerns were recruited and ten completed assessments before and after using the Association Splitting approach. Self-reported weight and shape concerns, eating behaviours and obsessive thinking were assessed. Changes between the two time points were analysed.

Results: After using Association Splitting, participants reported lower weight and shape concerns, reduced drive for thinness and body dissatisfaction and lower levels of eating disorder-related behaviours. The technique was perceived as helpful by 70% of the participants.

Conclusion: Association Splitting is a feasible approach to reducing weight and shape concerns and might be a useful addition to the treatment or prevention of eating disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40519-014-0109-4DOI Listing
June 2014

The potential of neurofeedback in the treatment of eating disorders: a review of the literature.

Eur Eat Disord Rev 2013 Nov 30;21(6):456-63. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.

Neurofeedback is defined as the training of voluntary regulation of localised neural activity using real-time feedback through a brain-computer interface. It has shown initial success as a potential clinical treatment tool in proof of concept studies, but has yet to be evaluated with respect to eating disorders. This paper (i) provides a brief overview of the current status of eating disorder treatments; (ii) describes the studies to date that use neurofeedback involving electroencephalography, real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging or near-infrared spectroscopy; and (iii) considers the potential of these technologies as treatments for eating disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/erv.2250DOI Listing
November 2013

Personalised computerised feedback in E-mental health.

J Ment Health 2012 Aug 8;21(4):346-54. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Section of Eating Disorders, PO-Box 059, De Crespigny Park, London SE15 3RH, UK.

Background: Personalised feedback constitutes an important component of E- and M-mental health applications (E = electronic and M = mobile computing and communication technologies) for disease prevention and management. It can be used to increase motivation, highlight risks, change attitudes and counterbalance the lack of personal contact in computerised health interventions. Research suggests that compared with targeted or generic feedback, personalised feedback is a more effective intervention component.

Aims: To discuss challenges and options for the generation and delivery of personalised feedback in E- and M-mental health interventions. Suggestions for the development of normative, summative and ipsative feedback are provided.

Results: We demonstrate how information from (multiple) assessments and/or data from comparable samples can be integrated into statistically supported and user-friendly feedback without including test scores.

Conclusion: Proposals made in this paper need to be the subject of empirical studies and should be tested in terms of their feasibility, acceptability and efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/09638237.2011.648347DOI Listing
August 2012
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