Promotion of mental health in young adults via mobile phone app: Study protocol of the ECoWeB (emotional competence for well-being in Young adults) cohort multiple randomised trials

Newbold, A.; Warren, F.C.; Taylor, R.S.; Hulme, C.; Burnett, S.; Aas, B.; Botella, C.; Burkhardt, F.; Ehring, T.; Fontaine, J.R.J.; Frost, M.; Garcia-Palacios, A.; Greimel, E.; Hoessle, C.; Hovasapian, A.; Huyghe, Vei; Lochner, J.; Molinari, G.; Pekrun, R.; Platt, B.; ... (2020). Promotion of mental health in young adults via mobile phone app: Study protocol of the ECoWeB (emotional competence for well-being in Young adults) cohort multiple randomised trials. BMC psychiatry, 20(458), pp. 1-18. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12888-020-02857-w

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Background: Promoting well-being and preventing poor mental health in young people is a major global priority. Building emotional competence (EC) skills via a mobile app may be an effective, scalable and acceptable way to do this. However, few large-scale controlled trials have examined the efficacy of mobile apps in promoting mental health in young people; none have tailored the app to individual profiles.
Method/design: The Emotional Competence for Well-Being in Young Adults cohort multiple randomised controlled trial (cmRCT) involves a longitudinal prospective cohort to examine well-being, mental health and EC in 16–22 year olds across 12 months. Within the cohort, eligible participants are entered to either the PREVENT trial (if selected EC scores at baseline within worst-performing quartile) or to the PROMOTE trial (if selected EC scores not within worst-performing quartile). In both trials, participants are randomised (i) to continue with usual practice, repeated assessments and a self-monitoring app; (ii) to additionally receive generic cognitive-behavioural therapy self-help in app; (iii) to additionally receive personalised EC self-help in app. In total, 2142 participants aged 16 to 22 years, with no current or past history of major depression, bipolar disorder or psychosis will be recruited across UK, Germany, Spain, and Belgium. Assessments take place at baseline (pre-randomisation), 1, 3 and 12 months post-randomisation. Primary endpoint and outcome for PREVENT is level of depression symptoms on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 at 3 months; primary endpoint and outcome for PROMOTE is emotional well-being assessed on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale at 3 months. Depressive symptoms, anxiety, well-being, health-related quality of life, functioning and cost-effectiveness are secondary outcomes. Compliance, adverse events and potentially mediating variables will be carefully monitored.
Conclusions: The trial aims to provide a better understanding of the causal role of learning EC skills using interventions delivered via mobile phone apps with respect to promoting well-being and preventing poor mental health in young people. This knowledge will be used to develop and disseminate innovative evidence-based, feasible, and effective Mobile-health public health strategies for preventing poor mental health and promoting well-being.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Personality Psychology, Differential Psychology and Diagnostics

UniBE Contributor:

Schlegel, Katja

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education

ISSN:

1471-244X

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Karin Dubler

Date Deposited:

12 Apr 2021 15:32

Last Modified:

12 Apr 2021 15:40

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/s12888-020-02857-w

PubMed ID:

32962684

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/153876

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/153876

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