Feasibility of an eHealth service to support collaborative depression care: results of a pilot study.
ABSTRACT Treatments and organizational changes supported by eHealth are beginning to play an important role in improving disease treatment outcome and providing cost-efficient care management. "Improvehealth.eu" is a novel eHealth service to support the treatment of patients with depressive disorder. It offers active patient engagement and collaborative care management by combining Web- and mobile-based information and communication technology systems and access to care managers.
Our objective was to assess the feasibility of a novel eHealth service.
The intervention--the "Improvehealth.eu" service--was explored in the course of a pilot study comparing two groups of patients receiving treatment as usual and treatment as usual with eHealth intervention. We compared patients' medication adherence and outcome measures between both groups and additionally explored usage and overall perceptions of the intervention in intervention group.
The intervention was successfully implemented in a pilot with 46 patients, of whom 40 were female. Of the 46 patients, 25 received treatment as usual, and 21 received the intervention in addition to treatment as usual. A total of 55% (12/25) of patients in the former group and 45% (10/21) in the latter group finished the 6-month pilot. Available case analysis indicated an improvement of adherence in the intervention group (odds ratio [OR] = 10.0, P = .03). Intention-to-treat analysis indicated an improvement of outcome in the intervention group (ORs ranging from 0.35 to 18; P values ranging from .003 to .20), but confidence intervals were large due to small sample sizes. Average duration of use of the intervention was 107 days. The intervention was well received by 81% (17/21) of patients who reported feeling actively engaged, in control of their disease, and that they had access to a high level of information. In all, 33% (7/21) of the patients also described drawbacks of the intervention, mostly related to usability issues.
The results of this pilot study indicate that the intervention was well accepted and helped the patients in the course of treatment. The results also suggest the potential of the intervention to improve both medication adherence and outcome measures of treatment, including reduction of depression severity and patients becoming "healthy."
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ABSTRACT: Background Blending online modules into face-to-face therapy offers perspectives to enhance patient self-management and to increase the (cost-)effectiveness of therapy, while still providing the support patients need. The aim of this study was to outline optimal usage of blended care for depression, according to patients and therapists.MethodsA Delphi method was used to find consensus on suitable blended protocols (content, sequence and ratio). Phase 1 was an explorative phase, conducted in two rounds of online questionnaires, in which patients¿ and therapists¿ preferences and opinions about online psychotherapy were surveyed. In phase 2, data from phase 1 was used in face-to-face interviews with therapists to investigate how blended therapy protocols could be set up and what essential preconditions would be.ResultsTwelve therapists and nine patients completed the surveys. Blended therapy was positively perceived among all respondents, especially to enhance the self-management of patients. According to most respondents, practical therapy components (assignments, diaries and psycho-education) may be provided via online modules, while process-related components (introduction, evaluation and discussing thoughts and feelings), should be supported face-to-face. The preferred blend of online and face-to-face sessions differs between therapists and patients; most therapists prefer 75% face-to-face sessions, most patients 50 to 60%. The interviews showed that tailoring treatment to individual patients is essential in secondary mental health care, due to the complexity of their problems. The amount and ratio of online modules needs to be adjusted according to the patient¿s problems, skills and characteristics. Therapists themselves should also develop skills to integrate online and face-to-face sessions.Conclusions Blending online and face-to-face sessions in an integrated depression therapy is viewed as a positive innovation by patients and therapists. Following a standard blended protocol, however, would be difficult in secondary mental health care. A database of online modules could provide flexibility to tailor treatment to individual patients, which asks motivation and skills of both patients and therapists. Further research is necessary to determine the (cost-) effectiveness of blended care, but this study provides starting points and preconditions to blend online and face-to-face sessions and create a treatment combining the best of both worlds.BMC Psychiatry 12/2014; 14(1):355. DOI:10.1186/s12888-014-0355-z · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: This paper provides results from a pilot study focused on assessing early-stage effectiveness and usability of a smartphone-based intervention system that provides a stand-alone, self-administered intervention option, the Location-Based Monitoring and Intervention for Alcohol Use Disorders (LBMI-A). The LBMI-A provided numerous features for intervening with ongoing drinking, craving, connection with supportive others, managing life problems, high-risk location alerting, and activity scheduling. Methods: Twenty-eight participants, ranging in age from 22 to 45, who met criteria for an alcohol use disorder used an LBMI-A–enabled smartphone for 6 weeks. Results: Participants indicated the LBMI-A intervention modules were helpful in highlighting alcohol use patterns. Tools related to managing alcohol craving, monitoring consumption, and identifying triggers to drink were rated by participants as particularly helpful. Participants also demonstrated significant reductions in hazardous alcohol use while using the system (56% of days spent hazardously drinking at baseline vs. 25% while using the LBMI-A) and drinks per day diminished by 52%. Conclusions: Implications for system improvement as well as suggestions for designing ecological momentary assessment and intervention systems for substance use disorders are discussed.Substance Abuse 05/2014; 35(2). DOI:10.1080/08897077.2013.821437 · 1.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Background: This study presents results from qualitative interviews conducted with participants in a study on the effectiveness of the Location-Based Monitoring and Intervention System for Alcohol Use Disorders (LBMI-A), a smartphone-based, stand-alone intervention application (app) for adults with alcohol use disorders. Materials and Methods: Participants were provided an LBMI-A-enabled smartphone to use during a 6-week pilot study. The LBMI-A was composed of psychoeducational modules, assessment and feedback of alcohol use patterns, geographic high-risk location monitoring and alerts, and in vivo assessment and intervention for alcohol cravings and help with managing psychological distress. Semistructured interviews were conducted with all participants following 6 weeks of interacting with the LBMI-A app (n=26). Interviews explored user perceptions of the ease and utility of LBMI-A features, module helpfulness, barriers to use, and recommendations for improvements to the program. Researchers applied a systematic qualitative coding process to transcripts that included both a priori themes identified as important by the research team and new themes that emerged during the coding process. Results and Conclusions: Narrative analysis found the emergence of five main themes identified by LBMI-A users as the most helpful functions of the phone: (1) Awareness, (2) Accountability, (3) Skill Transference, (4) Tracking Progress, and (5) Prompts. These themes are explored, and implications of these findings for future smartphone-based interventions are discussed.Telemedicine and e-Health 09/2014; 20(10). DOI:10.1089/tmj.2013.0222 · 1.54 Impact Factor