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Published By Jmir Publications Inc.

Updated Thursday, 28 October 2021

10.2196/28262 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (10) ◽  
pp. e28262
Khatiya C Moon ◽  
Anna R Van Meter ◽  
Michael A Kirschenbaum ◽  
Asra Ali ◽  
John M Kane ◽  

Background Little is known about the internet search activity of people with suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs). This data source has the potential to inform both clinical and public health efforts, such as suicide risk assessment and prevention. Objective We aimed to evaluate the internet search activity of suicidal young people to find evidence of suicidal ideation and behavioral health–related content. Methods Individuals aged between 15 and 30 years (N=43) with mood disorders who were hospitalized for STBs provided access to their internet search history. Searches that were conducted in the 3-month period prior to hospitalization were extracted and manually evaluated for search themes related to suicide and behavioral health. Results A majority (27/43, 63%) of participants conducted suicide-related searches. Participants searched for information that exactly matched their planned or chosen method of attempting suicide in 21% (9/43) of cases. Suicide-related search queries also included unusual suicide methods and references to suicide in popular culture. A majority of participants (33/43, 77%) had queries related to help-seeking themes, including how to find inpatient and outpatient behavioral health care. Queries related to mood and anxiety symptoms were found among 44% (19/43) of participants and included references to panic disorder, the inability to focus, feelings of loneliness, and despair. Queries related to substance use were found among 44% (19/43) of participants. Queries related to traumatic experiences were present among 33% (14/43) of participants. Few participants conducted searches for crisis hotlines (n=3). Conclusions Individuals search the internet for information related to suicide prior to hospitalization for STBs. The improved understanding of the search activity of suicidal people could inform outreach, assessment, and intervention strategies for people at risk. Access to search data may also benefit the ongoing care of suicidal patients.

10.2196/32100 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (10) ◽  
pp. e32100
Monica S Wu ◽  
Shih-Yin Chen ◽  
Robert E Wickham ◽  
Shane O’Neil-Hart ◽  
Connie Chen ◽  

Background Depression and anxiety are leading causes of disability worldwide, but access to quality mental health care is limited by myriad factors. Cognitive-behavioral coaching is rooted in evidence-based principles and has the potential to address some of these unmet care needs. Harnessing technology to facilitate broader dissemination within a blended care model shows additional promise for overcoming barriers to care. Objective The aim of this study is to evaluate the outcomes of a blended care coaching (BCC) program for clients presenting with moderate levels of anxiety and depression in real-world settings. Methods This study examined retrospective data from US-based individuals (N=1496) who presented with moderate levels of depression and anxiety symptoms and who received blended care coaching services. Using a short-term framework, clients met with coaches via a secure video conference platform and also received digital video lessons and exercises. To evaluate the effectiveness of the BCC program, mixed effects modeling was used to examine growth trajectories of anxiety and depression scores over the course of care. Results Out of the total sample of 1496 clients, 75.9% (n=1136) demonstrated reliable improvement, and 88.6% (n=1326) recovered based on either the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scale (anxiety) or Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (depression). On average, clients exhibited a significant decline in anxiety and depression symptoms during the initial weeks of coaching, with a continued decline over subsequent weeks at a lower rate. Engaging in a coaching session was associated with lower anxiety (b=–1.04) and depression (b=–0.79) symptoms in the same week, as well as lower anxiety (b=–0.74) and depression (b=–0.91) symptoms the following week (P<.001). Conclusions The BCC program demonstrated strong outcomes in decreasing symptomology for clients presenting with moderate levels of anxiety and depression. When clients received coaching sessions, significant decreases in symptoms were observed, reflecting the importance of session attendance. Additionally, the steepest declines in symptoms tended to occur during the initial weeks of coaching, emphasizing the importance of client buy-in and early engagement. Collectively, these findings have implications for addressing unmet mental health care needs in a more accessible, cost-effective manner.

10.2196/29764 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (10) ◽  
pp. e29764
Emma Morton ◽  
Kendall Ho ◽  
Steven J Barnes ◽  
Erin E Michalak

Background Web-based resources can support people with bipolar disorder (BD) to improve their knowledge and self-management. However, publicly available resources are heterogeneous in terms of their quality and ease of use. Characterizing digital health literacy (the skillset that enable people to navigate and make use of health information in a web-based context) in BD will support the development of educational resources. Objective The aim of this study was to develop understanding of digital health literacy and its predictors in people with BD. Methods A web-based survey was used to explore self-reported digital health literacy (as measured by the e-Health Literacy Scale [eHEALS]) in people with BD. Multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate potential predictors, including demographic/clinical characteristics and technology use. Results A total of 919 respondents (77.9% female; mean age 36.9 years) completed the survey. Older age (β=0.09; P=.01), postgraduate education (β=0.11; P=.01), and current use of self-management apps related to BD (β=0.13; P<.001) were associated with higher eHEALS ratings. Conclusions Levels of self-reported digital health literacy were comparable or higher than other studies in the general population and specific physical/mental health conditions. However, individuals with BD who are younger, have completed less education, or are less familiar with mental health apps may require extra support to safely and productively navigate web-based health resources. Relevant educational initiatives are discussed. Future studies should evaluate skill development interventions for less digitally literate groups.

10.2196/29426 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (10) ◽  
pp. e29426
Natasha Wade ◽  
Joseph M Ortigara ◽  
Ryan M Sullivan ◽  
Rachel L Tomko ◽  
Florence J Breslin ◽  

Background Concerns abound regarding childhood smartphone use, but studies to date have largely relied on self-reported screen use. Self-reporting of screen use is known to be misreported by pediatric samples and their parents, limiting the accurate determination of the impact of screen use on social, emotional, and cognitive development. Thus, a more passive, objective measurement of smartphone screen use among children is needed. Objective This study aims to passively sense smartphone screen use by time and types of apps used in a pilot sample of children and to assess the feasibility of passive sensing in a larger longitudinal sample. Methods The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study used passive, objective phone app methods for assessing smartphone screen use over 4 weeks in 2019-2020 in a subsample of 67 participants (aged 11-12 years; 31/67, 46% female; 23/67, 34% White). Children and their parents both reported average smartphone screen use before and after the study period, and they completed a questionnaire regarding the acceptability of the study protocol. Descriptive statistics for smartphone screen use, app use, and protocol feasibility and acceptability were reviewed. Analyses of variance were run to assess differences in categorical app use by demographics. Self-report and parent report were correlated with passive sensing data. Results Self-report of smartphone screen use was partly consistent with objective measurement (r=0.49), although objective data indicated that children used their phones more than they reported. Passive sensing revealed the most common types of apps used were for streaming (mean 1 hour 57 minutes per day, SD 1 hour 32 minutes), communication (mean 48 minutes per day, SD 1 hour 17 minutes), gaming (mean 41 minutes per day, SD 41 minutes), and social media (mean 36 minutes per day, SD 1 hour 7 minutes). Passive sensing of smartphone screen use was generally acceptable to children (43/62, 69%) and parents (53/62, 85%). Conclusions The results of passive, objective sensing suggest that children use their phones more than they self-report. Therefore, use of more robust methods for objective data collection is necessary and feasible in pediatric samples. These data may then more accurately reflect the impact of smartphone screen use on behavioral and emotional functioning. Accordingly, the ABCD study is implementing a passive sensing protocol in the full ABCD cohort. Taken together, passive assessment with a phone app provided objective, low-burden, novel, informative data about preteen smartphone screen use.

10.2196/31173 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (10) ◽  
pp. e31173
Björn Meyer ◽  
Geri-Lynn Utter ◽  
Catherine Hillman

Background Opioid use disorder (OUD) is characterized by the inability to control opioid use despite attempts to stop use and negative consequences to oneself and others. The burden of opioid misuse and OUD is a national crisis in the United States with substantial public health, social, and economic implications. Although medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has demonstrated efficacy in the management of OUD, access to effective counseling and psychosocial support is a limiting factor and a significant problem for many patients and physicians. Digital therapeutics are an innovative class of interventions that help prevent, manage, or treat diseases by delivering therapy using software programs. These applications can circumvent barriers to uptake, improve treatment adherence, and enable broad delivery of evidence-based management strategies to meet service gaps. However, few digital therapeutics specifically targeting OUD are available, and additional options are needed. Objective To this end, we describe the development of the novel digital therapeutic MODIA. Methods MODIA was developed by an international, multidisciplinary team that aims to provide effective, accessible, and sustainable management for patients with OUD. Although MODIA is aligned with principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, it was not designed to present any 1 specific treatment and uses a broad range of evidence-based behavior change techniques drawn from cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy, and motivational interviewing. Results MODIA uses proprietary software that dynamically tailors content to the users’ responses. The MODIA program comprises 24 modules or “chats” that patients are instructed to work through independently. Patient responses dictate subsequent content, creating a “simulated dialogue” experience between the patient and program. MODIA also includes brief motivational text messages that are sent regularly to prompt patients to use the program and help them transfer therapeutic techniques into their daily routines. Thus, MODIA offers individuals with OUD a custom-tailored, interactive digital psychotherapy intervention that maximizes the personal relevance and emotional impact of the interaction. Conclusions As part of a clinician-supervised MAT program, MODIA will allow more patients to begin psychotherapy concurrently with opioid maintenance treatment. We expect access to MODIA will improve the OUD management experience and provide sustainable positive outcomes for patients.

10.2196/29454 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (9) ◽  
pp. e29454
Deinera Exner-Cortens ◽  
Elizabeth Baker ◽  
Shawna Gray ◽  
Cristina Fernandez Conde ◽  
Rocio Ramirez Rivera ◽  

Background Suicide is a leading cause of death among youth and a prominent concern for school mental health providers. Indeed, schools play a key role in suicide prevention, including participating in risk assessments with students expressing suicidal ideation. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools now need to offer mental health services, including suicide risk assessment, via eHealth platforms. Post pandemic, the use of eHealth risk assessments will support more accessible services for youth living in rural and remote areas. However, as the remote environment is a new context for many schools, guidance is needed on best practices for eHealth suicide risk assessment among youth. Objective This study aims to conduct a rapid, systematic scoping review to explore promising practices for conducting school-based suicide risk assessment among youth via eHealth (ie, information technologies that allow for remote communication). Methods This review included peer-reviewed articles and gray literature published in English between 2000 and 2020. Although we did not find studies that specifically explored promising practices for school-based suicide risk assessment among youth via eHealth platforms, we found 12 peer-reviewed articles and 23 gray literature documents that contained relevant information addressing our broader study purpose; thus, these 35 sources were included in this review. Results We identified five key recommendation themes for school-based suicide risk assessment among youth via eHealth platforms in the 12 peer-reviewed studies. These included accessibility, consent procedures, session logistics, safety planning, and internet privacy. Specific recommendation themes from the 23 gray literature documents substantially overlapped with and enhanced three of the themes identified in the peer-reviewed literature—consent procedures, session logistics, and safety planning. In addition, based on findings from the gray literature, we expanded the accessibility theme to a broader theme termed youth engagement, which included information on accessibility and building rapport, establishing a therapeutic space, and helping youth prepare for remote sessions. Finally, a new theme was identified in the gray literature findings, specifically concerning school mental health professional boundaries. A second key difference between the gray and peer-reviewed literature was the former’s focus on issues of equity and access and how technology can reinforce existing inequalities. Conclusions For school mental health providers in need of guidance, we believe that these six recommendation themes (ie, youth engagement, school mental health professional boundaries, consent procedures, session logistics, safety planning, and internet privacy) represent the most promising directions for school-based suicide risk assessment among youth using eHealth tools. However, suicide risk assessment among youth via eHealth platforms in school settings represents a critical research gap. On the basis of the findings of this review, we provide specific recommendations for future research, including the need to focus on the needs of diverse youth.

10.2196/26176 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (9) ◽  
pp. e26176
Celeste Campos-Castillo ◽  
Brian Jason Thomas ◽  
Felipe Reyes ◽  
Linnea Irina Laestadius

Background Rather than confiding in adults about their mental health struggles, adolescents may use social media to disclose them to peers. Disclosure recipients are tasked with deciding whether to alert an adult and, if so, whom to alert. Few studies have examined how adolescents decide on a trusted adult to help a friend who posts on social media about his/her mental health struggles. Moreover, Latinx adolescents are underrepresented in research on social media use, which creates gaps in understanding how social media may influence their well-being. Objective This qualitative study presents findings from semistructured interviews with Latinx adolescents to investigate how they seek out trusted adults when a friend posts on social media about their mental health struggles. Specifically, we sought to determine which adult ties they activated, the resources they believed the adult could provide, and the support they expected the adult to provide. Methods We recruited participants through a nonprofit organization serving the Latinx community (primarily of Mexican origin) located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We conducted 43 semistructured interviews, each lasting 60-90 minutes, with Latinx adolescents (25 females, 18 males) aged 13-17 years. All interviews were conducted in English, at the adolescents’ request. Using a grounded theory approach, we identified the nature of the relationship between the trusted adult and either the disclosure recipient or distressed friend, and the resources and support the trusted adult is expected to provide. Results Participants nominated adults who were emotionally or physically proximate to either the disclosure recipient or distressed friend, particularly parents (of the recipient and friend) and school staff. However, some felt that not all parents and school staff were emotionally proximate. Adolescents sought trusted adults with access to two resources: experiential knowledge and authority. Some, particularly males, avoided adults with authority because of the risk of punishment and others thought their immigrant parents did not have relevant experiential knowledge to assist them. Interviewees felt that trusted adults with either resource could provide emotional and instrumental support either directly or indirectly, while those with experiential knowledge could provide informational support. Notably, interviews did not problematize the fact that the disclosure occurred on social media when deliberating about adults. Conclusions To assist a distressed friend posting on social media, Latinx adolescents look not only for trusted adults who are emotionally and physically proximate but also those who have key resources that facilitate support. Efforts should focus on connecting adolescents with trusted adults and training adults who hold positions of authority or experiential knowledge to offer both direct and indirect support. Additionally, efforts should consider how immigrant experiences shape parent-child relations and address the potential long-term consequences of oversurveillance of Latinx youth, particularly males, by school staff for their access to social support.

10.2196/26031 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (9) ◽  
pp. e26031
Candice Biernesser ◽  
Jamie Zelazny ◽  
David Brent ◽  
Todd Bear ◽  
Christina Mair ◽  

Background Monitoring linguistic cues from adolescents’ digital media use (DMU; ie, digital content transmitted on the web, such as through text messages or social media) that could denote suicidal risk offers a unique opportunity to protect adolescents vulnerable to suicide, the second leading cause of death among youth. Adolescents communicate through digital media in high volumes and frequently express emotionality. In fact, web-based disclosures of suicidality are more common than in-person disclosures. The use of automated methods of digital media monitoring triggered by a natural language processing algorithm offers the potential to detect suicidal risk from subtle linguistic units (eg, negatively valanced words, phrases, or emoticons known to be associated with suicidality) present within adolescents’ digital media content and to use this information to respond to alerts of suicidal risk. Critical to the implementation of such an approach is the consideration of its acceptability in the clinical care of adolescents at high risk of suicide. Objective Through data collection among recently suicidal adolescents, parents, and clinicians, this study examines the current context of digital media monitoring for suicidal adolescents seeking clinical care to inform the need for automated monitoring and the factors that influence the acceptance of automated monitoring of suicidal adolescents’ DMU within clinical care. Methods A total of 15 recently suicidal adolescents (aged 13-17 years), 12 parents, and 10 clinicians participated in focus groups, qualitative interviews, and a group discussion, respectively. Data were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results Participants described important challenges to the current strategies for monitoring the DMU of suicidal youth. They felt that automated monitoring would have advantages over current monitoring approaches, namely, by protecting web-based environments and aiding adolescent disclosure and support seeking about web-based suicidal risk communication, which may otherwise go unnoticed. However, they identified barriers that could impede implementation within clinical care, namely, adolescents’ and parents’ concerns about unintended consequences of automated monitoring, that is, the potential for loss of privacy or false alerts, and clinicians’ concerns about liability to respond to alerts of suicidal risk. On the basis of the needs and preferences of adolescents, parents, and clinicians, a model for automated digital media monitoring is presented that aims to optimize acceptability within clinical care for suicidal youth. Conclusions Automated digital media monitoring offers a promising means to augment detection and response to suicidal risk within the clinical care of suicidal youth when strategies that address the preferences of adolescents, parents, and clinicians are in place.

10.2196/30596 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (9) ◽  
pp. e30596
Abimbola Adanijo ◽  
Caoimhe McWilliams ◽  
Til Wykes ◽  
Sagar Jilka

Background Sharing patient data can help drive scientific advances and improve patient care, but service users are concerned about how their data are used. When the National Health Service proposes to scrape general practitioner records, it is very important that we understand these concerns in some depth. Objective This study aims to investigate views of mental health service users on acceptable data sharing to provide clear recommendations for future data sharing systems. Methods A total of 4 focus groups with 4 member-checking groups were conducted via the internet between October 2020 and March 2021, with a total of 22 service users in the United Kingdom. Thematic analysis was used to identify the themes. Results Six main themes, with several subthemes were identified, such as the purpose of data sharing—for profit, public good, and continuation of care; discrimination through the misattribution of physical symptoms to mental health conditions (ie, diagnostic overshadowing) alongside the discrimination of individuals or groups within society (ie, institutional discrimination); safeguarding data by preserving anonymity and confidentiality, strengthening security measures, and holding organizations accountable; data accuracy and informed consent—increasing transparency about data use and choice; and incorporating service user involvement in system governance to provide insight and increase security. Conclusions This study extends the limited research on the views and concerns of mental health service users regarding acceptable data sharing. If adopted, the recommendations should improve the confidence of service users in sharing their data. The five recommendations include screening to ensure that data sharing benefits the public, providing service users with information about how their data are shared and what for, highlighting the existing safeguarding procedures, incorporating service user involvement, and developing tailored training for health care professionals to address issues of diagnostic overshadowing and inaccurate health records. Adopting such systems would aid in data sharing for legitimate interests that will benefit patients and the National Health Service.

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