JMIR mental health 2018 02 155(1) e13 doi 10.2196/mental.8894
Depression is common in adolescence and leads to distress and impairment in individuals, families and carers. Treatment and prevention guidelines highlight the key role of information and evidence-based psychosocial interventions not only for individuals but also for their families and carers. Engaging young people in prevention and early intervention programs is a challenge, and early treatment and prevention of adolescent depression is a major public health concern. There has been growing interest in psychoeducational interventions to provide accurate information about health issues and to enhance and develop self-management skills. However, for adolescents with, or at high risk of depression, there is a lack of engaging Web-based psychoeducation programs that have been developed with user input and in line with research guidelines and targeted at both the individual and their family or carer. There are also few studies published on the process of development of Web-based psychoeducational interventions.
The aim of this study was to describe the process underlying the design and development of MoodHwb (HwbHwyliau in Welsh): a Web-based psychoeducation multimedia program for young people with, or at high risk of, depression and their families, carers, friends, and professionals.
The initial prototype was informed by (1) a systematic review of psychoeducational interventions for adolescent depression; (2) findings from semistructured interviews and focus groups conducted with adolescents (with depressive symptoms or at high risk), parents or carers, and professionals working with young people; and (3) workshops and discussions with a multimedia company and experts (in clinical, research, and multimedia work). Twelve interviews were completed (four each with young people, parents or carers, and professionals) and six focus groups (three with young people, one with parents and carers, one with professionals, and one with academics).
Key themes from the interviews and focus groups were: aims of the program, design and content issues, and integration and context of the program. The prototype was designed to be person-centered, multiplatform, engaging, interactive, and bilingual. It included mood-monitoring and goal-setting components and was available as a Web-based program and an app for mobile technologies.
MoodHwb is a Web-based psychoeducational intervention developed for young people with, or at high risk of, depression and their families and carers. It was developed with user input using qualitative methods as well as user-centered design and educational and psychological theory. Further research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in a randomized controlled trial. If found to be effective, it could be implemented in health, education, youth and social services, and charities, to not only help young people but also families, carers, friends, and professionals involved in their care.