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New methods for delivering therapies for better well-being

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New methods for delivering therapies for better well-being

  1. 1. New methods for delivering therapies for better well-being www.salwe.fi What improvements in well-being can be obtained by using new technologies to promote lifestyle changes? A unique multidisciplinary study within SalWe’s Mind and Body Programme measured the effects on health of various kinds of therapy using advanced technologies and compared them with the results of conventional face-to-face therapy. Metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes can be prevented and even treated by encouraging people at risk to change their lifestyles. However, lifestyle changes require significant mental capabilities.. In SalWe’s Mind and Body Programme, the research teams at the Universities of Helsinki, Eastern Finland and Jyväskylä, VTT Technical Research Centre and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health have joined forces with Duodecim Publishing, Firstbeat Technologies, Valio, the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service and Vivago to study the impact of modern psychological interventions on indicators of mental and physical health. “As the basis for measurements of behavioural modification, we chose acceptance and commitment therapy, which aims to increase individual psychological flexibility and which has produced good results among many patients,” says Marjukka Kolehmainen, senior scientist at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio. “We wanted to see whether the changes in well-being yielded by the therapy can be measured by traditional SalWe - Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation in Health and Well-being
  2. 2. “Studies of intervention therapy are a fine example of what can be achieved by a Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation. Without SalWe’s Mind and Body Programme, it would not have happened.” indicators of mental and physical well-being. At the same time we compared the results obtained by delivering the therapy using modern communications technologies. This provides comparable data on how of mild depression if the treatment is provided at an early stage. This would free up professionals to treat more serious cases. online and mobile services can be used to promote well-being.” Benefits of cross-disciplinary research Promising preliminary results in combating depression A total of 280 people took part in the study. They were divided into a face-to-face lifestyle intervention group, an online intervention group, a mobile technology-based intervention group and a control group. “As for depression symptoms, the preliminary results seem to show that all forms of intervention were beneficial,” says Professor Raimo Lappalainen of Jyväskylä University. Miikka Ermes of VTT points out that the findings currently available show the value of therapy assisted by modern technologies. “Mobile and online therapies were as effective in preventing depression as interpersonal sessions with a psychologist. The benefit comes from the fact that technology can deliver the therapy anywhere, anytime.” He adds that a mobile phone is no replacement for a healthcare professional. However, technology might be used to treat a significant proportion of cases “Studies of intervention therapy are a fine example of what can be achieved by a Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation. This SHOK concept has brought together the top enterprises and researchers of the field,” says Marjukka Kolehmainen. “Without SalWe’s Mind and Body Programme, it would not have happened.” More information Miikka Ermes programme manager VTT Technical Research Centre miikka.ermes@vtt.fi +358 40 530 9273 Marjukka Kolehmainen senior scientist University of Eastern Finland marjukka.kolehmainen@uef.fi +358 40 355 3617 Raimo Lappalainen professor University of Jyväskylä raimo.lappalainen@psyka.jyu.fi +358 50 443 2349 SalWe - Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation in Health and Well-being

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