Upcoming research trial: Register your school's interest now for the 2019 Future Proofing research trial
- Can a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based mobile app prevent the development of mental health symptoms in a large cohort of teens?
- For those who don’t benefit from CBT, can a mobile app designed to improve their sleep prevent the further development and worsening of mental health symptoms?
Prevention is better than cure. During adolescence 50% of mental health problems emerge. We know we can prevent depression in 22% of young people at risk. However, the major problem is providing these prevention interventions easily and universally. In short, this randomised controlled trial (RCT) involving 20,000 young people aims to discover how to use smartphones to deliver preventive interventions on a large scale. Comprehensive, technology-assisted data collection and analysis will also help to determine what triggers the development of mental health symptoms.
History of the project
Our research team has already shown that digital interventions (such as a mobile phone app designed to improve sleep) can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, the effectiveness of digital interventions has not been demonstrated on a large scale. Powerful studies are required to determine whether and how digital interventions prevent the development of mental health symptoms in the real world.
We will conduct a large scale randomised controlled trial (RCT) involving 20,000 young people and look for differences between students who receive digital interventions and those who do not over 5 years. It will involve linking student data to their childhood medical records as well as using innovative technologies such as smartphones to collect data on social networks.
NHMRC Project Grant GNT1138405