Integrating the digital and the traditional to deliver therapy for depression: lessons from a pragmatic study

Katarzyna Stawarz*, Chris Preist, Debbie Tallon, Laura Thomas, Katrina Turner, Nicola Wiles, David Kessler, Roz Shafran, David Coyle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

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Abstract

Traditional approaches to psychotherapy emphasise face-to-face contact between patients and therapists. In contrast, current computerised approaches tend to minimise this contact. This can limit the range of mental health difficulties for which computerised approaches are effective. Here, we explore an alternative approach that integrates face-to-face contact, electronic contact, online collaboration, and support for between-session activities. Our discussion is grounded in the design of a platform to deliver psychotherapy for depression. We report findings of an 11-month pragmatic study in which 17 patients received treatment for depression via the platform. Results show how design decisions had a significant impact on the dynamics of therapeutic sessions and the establishment of patient-therapist relationships. For example, the use of instant messaging for synchronous, in-session contact slowed communication, but also provided a valuable space for reflection and helped to maintain session focus. We discuss the impact of flexibility and the potential of integrated approaches to both enhance and reduce patient engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '20
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6708-0/20/04
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2020
EventACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020
https://chi2020.acm.org/

Conference

ConferenceACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleCHI 2020
CountryUnited States
Period25/04/2030/04/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • health technology
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • CBT
  • depression
  • mental health
  • blended therapy
  • integrated approach
  • patient-therapist communication

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