We invited Mathijs Lucassen along to our supervisor meeting. He:

trained as an occupational therapist, and have worked clinically in mental health services in both England and New Zealand. Immediately prior to starting work at The Open University I worked as a lecturer and research fellow at the Department of Psychological Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Auckland.

Now he is working as a lecturer in mental health at the ou and has done some work with digital tools for mental health intervention e.g.

The effectiveness of SPARX, a computerised self help intervention for adolescents seeking help for depression: randomised controlled non-inferiority trial

With Mathijs we discussed how to define the user group and which user group to target. He suggested that we should use the term mental wellbeing. This is associated with general mental health for in and outpatients and isn’t specific to one particular diagnosis. This makes it a good, flexible term to match with our intentions. We would like to focus on outpatients who seek better mental wellbeing but who do not seek targeted healthcare for a specific condition.

We also discussed with Mathijs how to evaluate the use of the device. He suggested that we focus on user e3xperience. Assessing he impact upon mental healthcare would be difficult. He also suggested it would be good to draw on the opinions of the mental healthcare practitioners. They would provide and insight into impact. We could also just make observations about how the service e users engage with the devices in some kind of workshop.

When it comes to practitioners, he said it’s important to find the right people. People who are open to trying new tools. The options and outcomes from the study can really be effected by the mindset of the healthcare professional you work with.

 

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