Uptake and adherence of a self-directed internet-based mental health intervention with tailored e-mail reminders in senior high schools in Norway
AuthorLillevoll, Kjersti; Vangberg, Hans Christian Bones; Griffiths, Kathleen; Waterloo, Knut; Eisemann, Martin
Background Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (ICBT) is a promising approach to the prevention and reduction of depressive symptoms among adolescents. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of disseminating a self-directed internet-based mental health intervention (MoodGYM) in senior high schools. It also sought to investigate possible effects of tailored and weekly e-mail reminders on initial uptake and adherence to the intervention. Method A baseline survey was conducted in four senior high schools in two Norwegian municipalities (n = 1337). 52.8% (707/1337) of the students consented to further participation in the trial and were randomly allocated to one of three MoodGYM intervention groups (tailored weekly e-mail reminder (n = 175), standardized weekly e-mail reminder (n = 176 ) or no e-mail reminder (n = 175)) or a waitlist control group (n = 180). We tested for effects of the intervention on depression and self-esteem using multivariate analysis of variance, effects of tailored e-mail and self-reported current need of help on initial uptake of the intervention using logistic regression and the effect of weekly e-mails on adherence using ordinal regression. Results There was substantial non-participation from the intervention, with only 8.5% (45/527) participants logging on to MoodGYM, and few proceeding beyond the first part of the programme. No significant effect on depression or self-esteem was found among the sample as a whole or among participants with elevated depression scores at baseline. Having a higher average grade in senior high school predicted initial uptake of the intervention, but tailored e-mail and self-reported current need of help did not. Weekly e-mail prompts did not predict adherence. The main reasons for non-use reported were lack of time/forgetting about it and doubt about the usefulness of the program. Conclusion Overall, disseminating a self-directed internet-based intervention to a school population proved difficult despite steps taken to reduce barriers in terms of tailoring feedback and dispatching weekly e-mail reminders. Providing mental health interventions within the school environment is likely to ensure better uptake among senior high school students, but there is a need to effectively communicate that such programmes can be helpful.
CitationBMC Psychiatry (2014), vol. 14:14
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