Designing for Emotional Wellbeing


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Mental and Emotional health difficulties are a leading cause of disability worldwide. Interestingly, studies have consistently shown that interpersonal relationships and social support can play a vital role in emotional health and wellbeing. Technologies that effectively support emotional wellbeing are likely to offer significant benefits, both for individuals and for society as a whole. This talk will discuss the potential of social media such as social networking sites, online games and mobile phone applications to provide social support for the emotional wellbeing of users, as well as the design constraints inherent in doing so. The EPSRC-funded project called "Exploring social Networks to Augment Cognitive behaviour Therapy (ENACT)," which is being lead by the Lincoln Social Computing research centre, will be discussed as an example of work in this field.

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  • This is an unusual presentation - I have no results. However, I think it is important to explain this work as it lets everyone know why Andy and Sue are here – but also because it’s a major grant and an avenue of research that we, at LiSC, intend on pursuing beyond this one particular project.The title may not be great – I want to talk primarily about using social media to deliver interventions for mental health. However, also interested in the role of technology in general and it’s effects on mental & emotional wellbeing.
  • The first two statements are facts, taken from WHO (include refs!)The third is a proposition that could (and has) led to some interesting research. Indeed, this is the basis of a theme of research we are undertaking in LiSC.
  • Explain technology – from web pages, to text messages, online chat, social networks, games, mobile phone applications etc…
  • This is the focus of a workshop we have submitted to CHI for next year. Aims are to bring together experts on this from disparate fields to begin this discussion.
  • It’s supposed to mean health, but you rarely hear people talk about their good mental health.Just because most work has been on interventions so far, doesn’t mean this is where the biggest potential benefits lie. Prevention may be more beneficial.Mention CHI workshop. . Aims are to bring together experts on this from disparate fields to begin this discussion.
  • Work in mental health has huge benefits – but why are we discussing this in a computer science research seminar?
  • Work in mental health has huge benefits – but why are we discussing this in a computer science research seminar?May not initially seem like a great idea. The relationship between a therapist and patient is one of the most consistent predictors of clinical outcomes. Perhaps decreasing or removing entirely this contact would have a really bad effect?Maybe – this is certainly a concern - but there are some compelling reasons for giving it a go.Despite these fantastic effective treatments – people don’t use them.
  • “no less effective” – but remember it has all of those benefits of being more cost effective, easier to access etc.
  • Not only does it seem like a good idea, there is lots of stuff going on. There is good evidence that this stuff works.
  • When developing technological interventions for mental health, there are a number of concerns that are very specific.First of
  • CBT is very systematic and modular – so its easy to turn into an app.
  • It’s not about improving effectiveness. This was key to our involvement – the effectiveness has already been demonstrated.
  • Designing for Emotional Wellbeing

    1. 1. Designing for SocialSupport and EmotionalWellbeingConor LinehanLincoln Social Computing ResearchCentre
    2. 2. Introduction Mental and emotional health difficulties are a leading cause of disability worldwide (Funk et al., 2010). Interpersonal relationships & social support can play a vital role in emotional health and wellbeing (Assay et al., 1999; House et al, 1998). Technologies that effectively support emotional wellbeing are likely to offer significant benefits to individuals and to society.
    3. 3. Structure Emotional Wellbeing / Mental health Using technology to support mental & emotional health  Why?  Previous work  Design constraints / unique requirements ENACT project  Background  Work in progress Conclusion
    4. 4. Emotional wellbeing “…fundamental to our quality of life. It enables us to experience life as meaningful and is an essential component of social cohesion, peace and stability in the living environment, contributing to social capital and economic development in society.” (WHO, 2005)
    5. 5. Emotional Wellbeing Mental health is unfortunately thought of only when there are problems Indeed, most of the research in this area is on interventions for mental health problems
    6. 6. Mental Health Problems Worldwide, 151 million people suffer from depression at any one time, and 844,000 people die by suicide every year (Funk et al., 2010). One in four UK adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any one year, and one in six experiences this at any given time (ONS, 2001). Work in this field has potential for massive impact – genuinely improving peoples lives
    7. 7. Technology & Emotional Wellbeing - Why? Most people with problems don’t seek help  Stigma  Unaware help is available / necessary  Geography Lowering costs – increasing access Technology can help improve interventions  record behaviour more accurately Technology can connect people  Willingness to disclose info online
    8. 8. Previous work Online interventions for common mental health conditions.  Beating the Blues Meta-review results broadly agree that, for depression and anxiety dis- orders, cCBT has been found to be no less effective than therapist-led cognitive behaviour therapy (Fouroushani et al., 2011).
    9. 9. Previous work Mood recording using mobile phones (Burns et al, 2011). Mobile device to record sleep behaviour& deliver intervention (Riley et al, 2010). Text messaging to help smokers to quit Computer games to help kids control diabetes (Baranowski et al, 2008).
    10. 10. Unique Requirements Framework for complex health interventions (Campbell et al., 2000). Normalisation Process Theory (Murray et al, 2010). Design & Evaluation Guidelines for Mental Health Technologies (Doherty et al., 2010).  How to do HCI in mental health field  The health problem, the type of therapy,  The therapist role, the user needs,  the NHS, GPs & referral,
    11. 11. ENACT background CBT – a form of therapy that combines cognitive re-structuring with behavioural intervention. Systematic & modular. Effective for common mental health problems. Self-help CBT is effective CCBT is effective when engaged with But not currently engaged with very well
    12. 12. ENACT goals Improve the uptake of & adherence to CCBT through the use of social media Make the experience as much like using a computer in 2011 as possible Mobile Apps, Social Network, Game Mechanics Insomnia as a test case
    13. 13. conclusion This area is emerging – very exciting. Potential to have real impact on huge proportion of the population Lots of potential applications of this approach
    14. 14. References WHO. Mental Health Action Plan for Europe: Facing the Challenges, Building Solutions In proc WHO European Ministerial Conference on Mental Health, 2005. Funk, M., et al., eds. Mental health and development: targeting people with mental health conditions as a vulnerable group. 2010, WHO: Geneva. Office for National Statistics (2001). Psychiatric Morbidity among Adults living in private households, 2000. London: Office for National Statistics. Assay, T., et al., The Empirical Case for Common Factors in Therapy: Quantitative Findings, in The Heart and Soul of Change. 1999, APA: Washington. p.23-55. House, J.S., et al., Social relationships and health. Science, 1998, 241 p.540–45. Doherty, G., Coyle, D., & Matthews, M. (2010). Design and evaluation guidelines for mental health technologies. Interacting with Computers, 22, 243-252.
    15. 15. References Campbell, M., Fitzpatrick, R., Haines, A., Kinmonth, A.L., Sandercock, P., Tyrer, P.,(2000). Framework for design and evaluation of complex interventions to improve health. British Medical Journal 321, 694–696. Murray E, Treweek S, Pope C, MacFarlane A, Ballini L, Dowrick C, Finch T,Kennedy A, Mair F, O’Donnell C, Ong BN, Rapley T, Rogers A, May C: Normalisation process theory: a framework for developing, evaluating and implementing complex interventions. BMC Med 2010, 8:63. Fouroushani, P.S., Schenider, J., &Assareh, N. (2011). Meta-review of the effectiveness of computerised CBT in treating depression. BMC Psychiatry 11, 131. Burns, M.N., Begale, M., Duffecy, J., Gergle, D., Katt., C.J., Giangrande, E., & Mohr, D. (2011). Harnessing content sensing to develop a mobile intervention for depression. J Med Internet Res, 13, 3. Riley, W.T., Mihm, P., Behar, A., & Morin, C.M. (2010). A computer device to deliver behavioral interventions for insomnia. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 8, 2-15