Mental Health in the Digital Age by Sheri Bauman, Ian Rivers

By Sheri Bauman, Ian Rivers

This ebook examines the intersection of psychological future health and electronic know-how to make expert judgements concerning the new ideas supplied by way of electronic know-how. It highlights the increase in on-line remedy and social media and examines the moral dilemmas fascinated with on-line examine to indicate that the advantages created a long way outweigh the prospective dangers.

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These documents are works in progress, as the rapid evolution of technologies will lead to more options for digital therapy that must be addressed. It is important that guidelines be carefully developed and vetted, but it is also important that professionals who are already using these technologies have some parameters to follow. Guidelines must cover both existing technologies and those likely to expand, such as those using smart phones, cloud computing, virtual realities, and electronic games (Maheu, Pulier, McMenamin, & Posen, 2012).

The pilot sample was composed of 21 participants, 57% male and 95% white, 90% of whom had a diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependence. Their program, Alcohol Therapeutic Interactive Voice Response (ATIVR), used a telephone call-in platform which is computer-programmed to alter responses based on the client’s input. The client first completes a 10-item questionnaire; clients are encouraged to do this daily for the 90-day period, but if they miss a day or more, the next time the client calls in, the questionnaire will ask about the intervening period.

To date, it is available in six languages, and has 800,000 registered users in 222 countries around the world (Thorpe, 2014). Farrer, Christensen, Griffiths, and Kackinnon (2011) reported that a significant drop in depression symptoms occurred immediately in the online program, and the effects were maintained at six months follow-up. In their study, 155 Lifeline (national helpline) callers were assigned to one 36 Mental Health in the Digital Age of four conditions: Internet CBT plus weekly telephone tracking by a lay counselor, Internet CBT only, weekly telephone tracking only, or treatment as usual.

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