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A digital intervention for adolescent depression 'MoodHwb': mixed-methods feasibility evaluation

Bevan-Jones, Rhys ORCID:, Thapar, Anita ORCID:, Rice, Frances ORCID:, Mars, Becky, Agha, Sharifah Shameem ORCID:, Smith, Daniel, Merry, Sally, Stallard, Paul, Thapar, Ajay ORCID:, Jones, Ian ORCID: and Simpson, Sharon 2020. A digital intervention for adolescent depression 'MoodHwb': mixed-methods feasibility evaluation. JMIR Mental Health 7 (7) , e14536. 10.2196/14536

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Background: Treatment and prevention guidelines highlight the key role of health information and evidence-based psychosocial interventions for adolescent depression. Digital health technologies and psychoeducational interventions have been recommended to help engage young people, provide accurate health information, enhance self-management skills and promote social support. However, few digital psychoeducational interventions for adolescent depression have been robustly developed and evaluated. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and potential impact of a theory-informed, co-designed digital intervention programme, ‘MoodHwb’. Methods: We used a mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative) approach to evaluate the programme and the assessment process. Adolescents with or at elevated risk of depression and their parents/carers were recruited from mental health services, school counsellors/nurses and participants from a previous study. They completed questionnaires before and after the programme (to gather views and assess changes in mood, knowledge/attitudes and behaviour), and their Web usage was monitored. A subsample was also interviewed. A focus group was conducted with professionals from health, education, social and youth services/charities. Interview and focus group transcripts were analysed using inductive thematic analysis with NVivo 10. Results: Forty-four young people and 31 parents/carers were recruited, and 36 (82%) young people and 21 (68%) parents/carers completed follow-up questionnaires. Nineteen young people and 12 parents/carers were interviewed. Thirteen professionals from a range of disciplines participated in the focus group. Overall, participants found the intervention engaging, clear, user-friendly, comprehensive and helpful (particularly the ‘self help’ section), and stated it could be integrated into existing services. The findings provided initial support for the intervention programme theory, for example depression literacy improved after using the intervention. Conclusions: Findings from this early-stage evaluation suggest that ‘MoodHwb’ and the assessment process were feasible and acceptable, and that the intervention has potential to be helpful for young people and families/carers as an early intervention programme in health, education, youth and social services/charities. A randomised controlled trial is needed to further evaluate the digital programme.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: JMIR Publications
ISSN: 2368-7959
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 February 2020
Date of Acceptance: 2 February 2020
Last Modified: 16 May 2023 12:15

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