Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of the P4Well intervention in treatment of stress-related psychological problems. P4Well is a novel intervention which combines modern psychotherapy (the cognitive behavioral therapy and the acceptance and commitment therapy) with personal health technologies to deliver the intervention via multiple channels, includinggroup meetings, Internet/Web portal, mobile phone applications, and personal monitoring devices.
Methods: This pilot study design was a small-scale randomized controlled trial that compared the P4Well intervention with a waiting list control group. In addition to personal health technologies for self-assessment, the intervention consisted of 3 psychologist-assisted group meetings. Self-assessed psychological measures through questionnaires were collected offline pre- and post-intervention, and 6 months after the intervention for the intervention group. Acceptance and usage of technology tools were measured with user experience questionnaires and usage logs.
Results: A total of 24 subjects were randomized: 11 participants were followed up in the intervention group (1 was lost to follow-up) and 12 participants did not receive any intervention (control group). Depressive and psychological symptoms decreased and self-rated health and working ability increased. All participants reported they had benefited from the intervention. All technology tools had active users and 10/11 participants used at least 1 tool actively. Physiological measurements with personal feedback were considered the most useful intervention component.
Conclusions: Our results confirm the feasibility of the intervention and suggest that it had positive effects on psychological symptoms, self-rated health, and self-rated working ability. The intervention seemed to have a positive impact on certain aspects of burnout and job strain, such as cynicism and over-commitment. Future studies need to investigate the effectiveness, benefits, and possible problems of psychological interventions which incorporate new technologies.
- technology-supported mini-intervention
- personal health technologies
- cognitive behaviour therapy
- acceptance and commitment therapy
- mobile health