Eichenberg et al. (2018): Feasibility and Conceptualization of an e-Mental Health Treatment for Depression in Older Adults: Mixed-Methods Study

ABSTRACT

Back­ground: Depres­sion is one of the most com­mon men­tal dis­or­ders in older adults. Unfor­t­u­n­a­tely, it often goes unre­co­gni­zed in the older popu­la­tion.

Objec­tive: The aim of this study was to iden­tify how Web-based apps can reco­gnize and help treat depres­sion in older adults.

Methods: Focus groups were con­duc­ted with men­tal health care experts. A Web-based sur­vey of 56 older adults suf­fe­ring from depres­sion was con­duc­ted. Qua­li­ta­tive inter­views were con­duc­ted with 2 indi­vi­du­als.

Results: Results of the focus groups high­ligh­ted that there is a need for a col­la­bo­ra­tive care plat­form for depres­sion in old age. Fin­dings from the Web-based study showed that youn­ger par­ti­ci­pants (aged 50 to 64 years) used elec­tro­nic media more often than older par­ti­ci­pants (aged 65 years and older). The inter­views poin­ted in a com­pa­ra­ble direc­tion.

Con­clu­si­ons: Over­all, an e-mental (elec­tro­nic men­tal) health tre­at­ment for depres­sion in older adults would be well accep­ted. Web-based care plat­forms should be deve­lo­ped, eva­lua­ted, and in case of evi­dence for their effec­tiven­ess, inte­gra­ted into the ever­y­day cli­nic.

Full ver­sion: https://aging.jmir.org/2018/2/e10973/

Eichen­berg, C., Schott, M., Sawyer, A., Aumayr, G. & Plöß­nig, M. (2018). Fea­si­bi­lity and Con­cep­tua­liza­t­ion of an e-Mental Health Tre­at­ment for Depres­sion in Older Adults: Mixed-Methods Study. Jour­nal of Medi­cal Inter­net Rese­arch Aging, 1(2), e10973. DOI: 10.2196/10973.

Eichen­berg, Huss & Küsel (2017): From online dating to online divorce

ABSTRACT

The deve­lop­ment of digi­tal media over the last 20 years has led to seis­mic chan­ges wit­hin many aspects of daily life. This inclu­des nume­rous facets of family rela­ti­ons­hips that have not escaped the digi­tal revo­lu­tion of the last two deca­des. From the very early sta­ges of initia­ting rela­ti­ons­hips to types of post-break-up beha­vi­ors, the Inter­net has the poten­tial to play an influ­en­tial role in all areas of family and par­ti­cu­larly couple rela­ti­ons­hips. This paper exami­nes how ICTs (“infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­no­logy”) can shape such rela­ti­ons­hips. The impact on the various sta­ges of rela­ti­ons­hips is sys­te­ma­ti­zed (rela­ti­ons­hip deve­lop­ment, couple and family for­ma­tion, sepa­ra­tion) with a spe­cial focus on inter­ge­ne­ra­tio­nal oppor­tu­nities and con­flicts asso­cia­ted with modern media usage. Against the back­ground of psy­cho­lo­gi­cal and media com­mu­ni­ca­tion theo­ries and psy­cho­the­ra­peutic approa­ches as well as empi­ri­cal fin­dings the fol­lo­wing topics are con­side­red: 1. Initia­tion of rela­ti­ons­hips through ICTs (e.g. meet new part­ners through online dating); 2. Impact of digi­tal media on rela­ti­ons­hip deve­lop­ment and exis­ting part­nerships (e.g. new oppor­tu­nities and internet-related chal­len­ges that have to be faced by cou­ples) 3. Influ­ence of ICTs on sepa­ra­ti­ons (e.g. online media­tion, get­ting divorced online). In sum­mary, the role of ICTs in new, exis­ting and sepa­ra­ted part­nerships and fami­lies is mul­ti­fa­ce­ted. An out­look on fur­ther deve­lop­ments as well as rese­arch desi­de­rata is given.

Eichen­berg, C., Huss, J. & Küsel, C. (2017). From online dating to online divorce: An over­view of couple and family rela­ti­ons­hips shaped though digi­tal media. Con­tem­porary Family The­rapy, 39, 249–260.

Tha­b­rew, Sawyer & Eichen­berg (2018): Patient-Targeted Goog­ling by New Zea­land Men­tal Health Pro­fes­sio­nals

ABSTRACT

Back­ground: Patient-targeted goog­ling (PTG) descri­bes the sear­ching on the inter­net by health­care pro­fes­sio­nals for infor­ma­tion about pati­ents with or without their know­ledge.

Intro­duc­tion: Little rese­arch has been con­duc­ted into PTG inter­na­tio­nally. PTG can have par­ti­cu­lar ethi­cal impli­ca­ti­ons wit­hin the field of men­tal health. This study was under­ta­ken to iden­tify the extent of PTG by New Zea­land men­tal health­care pro­fes­sio­nals and needs for fur­ther gui­dance regar­ding this issue.

Mate­ri­als and Methods: All (1850) psych­ia­trists, cli­ni­cal psy­cho­lo­gists and psy­cho­the­ra­pists working in New Zea­land were elec­tro­ni­cally sur­veyed about their expe­ri­ence of PTG and know­ledge about the asso­cia­ted prac­tice of therapist-targeted goog­ling (TTG). Due to ethics and adver­ti­sing restric­tions, only one indi­rect approach was made to poten­tial par­ti­ci­pants.

Results: Eighty eight cli­ni­ci­ans (5%) respon­ded to the sur­vey invi­ta­tion. More than half (53.4%, N=47) of respond­ents repor­tedly enga­ged in PTG, but only a mino­rity (10.3%, N=9) had ever recei­ved any edu­ca­tion about the sub­ject. Rea­sons for under­ta­king PTG inclu­ded faci­li­ta­ting the the­ra­peutic pro­cess, infor­ma­tion being in the public domain and miti­ga­ting risks. Rea­sons against under­ta­king PTG inclu­ded impair­ment of the the­ra­peutic rela­ti­ons­hip, unethi­cal inva­sion of pri­vacy and con­cerns regar­ding the accu­racy and cli­ni­cal rele­vance of online infor­ma­tion. Two-thirds of par­ti­ci­pants repor­ted being the sub­ject of TTG.

Dis­cus­sion: New Zea­land psych­ia­trists, cli­ni­cal psy­cho­lo­gists and psy­cho­the­ra­pists are enga­ging in PTG with limi­ted edu­ca­tion and pro­fes­sio­nal gui­dance. Fur­ther dis­cus­sion and rese­arch are requi­red so PTG is under­ta­ken in a man­ner that is safe and use­ful for pati­ents and health prac­ti­tio­ners.

Tha­b­rew, H., Sawyer, A. & Eichen­berg, C. (2018). Patient-Targeted Goog­ling by New Zea­land Men­tal Health Pro­fes­sio­nals: A New Field Of Ethi­cal Con­side­ra­tion in the Inter­net Age. Tele­me­di­cine & e-Health, DOI: 10.1089/tmj.2017.0247.

Christiane Eichenberg und Markus Schott (2017): Serious Games for Psychotherapy: A Systematic Review

ABSTRACT

Intro­duc­tion: In the evol­ving digi­tal age, media app­li­ca­ti­ons are increa­sin­gly play­ing a grea­ter role in the field of psy­cho­the­rapy. While the Inter­net is alre­ady in the phase of being esta­blis­hed when it comes to the care of men­tal dis­or­ders, expe­ri­men­ta­tion is going on with other modern media such as serious games. A serious game is a game in which edu­ca­tion and beha­vior change is the goal, along­s­ide with enter­tain­ment.

Objec­tive: The objec­tive of the pre­sent arti­cle was to pro­vide a first empi­ri­cal over­view of serious games app­lied to psy­cho­the­rapy and psy­cho­so­ma­tic reha­bi­li­ta­tion.

Method: The­re­fore, a sys­te­ma­tic lite­ra­ture search, inclu­ding the terms “serious game” or “com­pu­ter game” and “psy­cho­the­rapy” or “reha­bi­li­ta­tion” or “inter­ven­tion” or “men­tal dis­or­ders” in the data­ba­ses Med­line and Psy­cINFO, was per­for­med. Sub­se­quently, an Inter­net search was con­duc­ted to iden­tify stu­dies not publis­hed in jour­nals. Publi­ca­ti­ons not pro­vi­ding empi­ri­cal data about effec­tiven­ess were exclu­ded.

Results: On the basis of this sys­te­ma­tic lite­ra­ture review, the results of N = 15 stu­dies met inclu­sion cri­te­ria. They uti­li­zed pri­ma­rily cogni­tive beha­vio­ral tech­ni­ques and can be use­ful for trea­ting a range of men­tal dis­or­ders. Serious games are effec­tive both as a stand-alone inter­ven­tion or part of psy­cho­the­rapy and appeal to pati­ents inde­pen­dent of age and sex.

Con­clu­si­ons: Inclu­ded serious games pro­ved to be an effec­tive the­ra­peutic com­po­nent. Nonethe­l­ess, fin­dings are not con­clu­sive and more rese­arch is nee­ded to fur­ther inves­ti­gate the effec­tiven­ess of serious games for psy­cho­the­ra­peutic pur­po­ses.

Eichen­berg, C. & Schott, M. (2017). Serious Games for Psy­cho­the­rapy: A Sys­te­ma­tic Review. Games for Health, 3, 127–135.

Eichenberg et al. (2017): Attachment Style and Internet Addiction: An Online Survey

ABSTRACT

Back­ground: One of the cli­ni­cally rele­vant pro­blems of Inter­net use is the pheno­me­non of Inter­net addic­tion. Con­side­ring the fact that there is ample evi­dence for the rela­ti­ons­hip bet­ween attach­ment style and sub­stance abuse, it stands to rea­son that attach­ment theory can also make an important cont­ri­bu­tion to the under­stan­ding of the patho­ge­ne­sis of Inter­net addic­tion.

Objec­tive:The aim of this study was to examine people’s ten­dency toward patho­lo­gi­cal Inter­net usage in rela­tion to their attach­ment style.

Methods: An online sur­vey was con­duc­ted. Soci­ode­mo­gra­phic data, attach­ment style (Bie­le­feld ques­ti­on­naire part­nership expec­ta­ti­ons), sym­ptoms of Inter­net addic­tion (scale for online addic­tion for adults), used Web-based ser­vices, and online rela­ti­ons­hip moti­ves (Cyber Rela­ti­ons­hip Motive Scale, CRMS-D) were asses­sed. In order to con­firm the fin­dings, a study using the Ror­schach test was also con­duc­ted.

Results: In total, 245 sub­jects were recrui­ted. Par­ti­ci­pants with inse­cure attach­ment style showed a hig­her ten­dency to patho­lo­gi­cal Inter­net usage com­pa­red with secu­rely atta­ched par­ti­ci­pants. An ambi­va­lent attach­ment style was par­ti­cu­larly asso­cia­ted with patho­lo­gi­cal Inter­net usage. Esca­pist and social-compensatory moti­ves played an important role for inse­cu­rely atta­ched sub­jects. Howe­ver, there were no signi­fi­cant effects with respect to Web-based ser­vices and apps used. Results of the ana­ly­sis of the Ror­schach pro­to­col with 16 sub­jects corr­o­bo­ra­ted these results. Users with patho­lo­gi­cal Inter­net use fre­quently showed signs of infan­tile rela­ti­ons­hip struc­tu­res in the con­text of social groups. This refers to the results of the Web-based sur­vey, in which inter­per­so­nal rela­ti­ons­hips were the result of an inse­cure attach­ment style.

Con­clu­si­ons: Patho­lo­gi­cal Inter­net use was a func­tion of inse­cure attach­ment and limi­ted inter­per­so­nal rela­ti­ons­hips.

Full ver­sion: http://www.jmir.org/2017/5/e170/

Eichen­berg, C., Schott, M., Decker, O. & Sin­delar, B. (2017). Attach­ment style and Inter­net addic­tion. Jour­nal of Medi­cal Inter­net Research,m19(5):e170, DOI: 10.2196/jmir.6694.

Christiane Eichenberg & Markus Schott (2016): An Empirical Analysis of Internet Message Boards for Self-Harming Behavior

ABSTRACT

Much debate sur­rounds the poten­tial effects of self-harm forum use. Argu­ments in favor high­light fac­tors such as pro­vi­ding access to a sup­por­tive com­mu­nity. Howe­ver cri­ti­cal voice high­light­ing poten­tial dan­gers such as forums ser­ving as a plat­form to pro­mote self-harm, clearly domi­nate the debate. Using an online ques­ti­on­naire, the goal of the cur­rent study was to examine soci­ode­mo­gra­phic cha­rac­te­ris­tics, the psy­cho­pa­tho­logy of forum users, moti­ves for par­ti­ci­pa­ting, and sub­jec­tive effects of self-harm forum use. A total of 309 self-harm forum users par­ti­ci­pa­ted in this study. 3 hete­ro­ge­neous user types with dif­fe­ring moti­ves for visit­ing the forum and dif­fe­rent usage effects were iden­ti­fied. The results ques­tion the assump­ti­ons that self-harm forums are a source of harm and point to their pre­do­mi­nantly con­struc­tive and preven­tive func­tions.

Full ver­sion: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13811118.2016.1259597

Eichen­berg, C. & Schott, M. (2016). An Empi­ri­cal Ana­ly­sis of Inter­net Mes­sage Boards for Self-Harming Beha­vior. Archi­ves of Sui­cide Rese­arch, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13811118.2016.1259597.

Do Therapists Google Their Patients? A Survey Among Psychotherapists

ABSTRACT

Back­ground: The increa­sing use of the Inter­net and its array of social net­works brings new ways for psy­cho­the­ra­pists to find out infor­ma­tion about their pati­ents, often refer­red to as patient-targeted goog­ling (PTG). Howe­ver, this topic has been sub­ject to little empi­ri­cal rese­arch; there has been hardly any atten­tion given to it in Ger­many and the rest of Europe and it has not been inclu­ded in ethi­cal gui­de­li­nes for psy­cho­the­rapy des­pite the com­plex ethi­cal issues it rai­ses.

Objec­tive: This study explo­red Ger­man psy­cho­the­ra­pists’ beha­vior and expe­ri­en­ces rela­ted to PTG, inves­ti­ga­ted how these vary with soci­ode­mo­gra­phic fac­tors and the­ra­peutic back­ground, and explo­red the cir­cum­stan­ces in which psy­cho­the­ra­pists con­side­red PTG to be appro­priate or not.

Methods: A total of 207 psy­cho­the­ra­pists respon­ded to a newly deve­lo­ped ques­ti­on­naire that asses­sed their expe­ri­ence of and views on PTG. The study sam­ple was a non­re­pre­sen­ta­tive con­ve­ni­ence sam­ple recrui­ted online via several German-speaking pro­fes­sio­nal the­rapy plat­forms.

Results: Most the­ra­pists (84.5%, 174/207) sta­ted that they had not actively con­side­red the topic of PTG. Howe­ver, 39.6% (82/207) said that they had alre­ady loo­ked for pati­ent infor­ma­tion online (eg, when they sus­pec­ted a pati­ent may have been lying) and 39.3% (81/207) knew col­leagues or super­vi­sors who had done so. Only 2.4% (5/207) of the­ra­pists had come across PTG during their edu­ca­tion and trai­ning.

Con­clu­si­ons: It is essen­tial to pro­vide PTG as a part of the­ra­pists’ edu­ca­tion and trai­ning. Fur­ther­more, the com­plex pro­blems con­cerning PTG should be intro­du­ced into codes of ethics to pro­vide expli­cit gui­dance for psy­cho­the­ra­pists in prac­tice. This report pro­vi­des initial sug­ges­ti­ons to open up debate on this topic.

Full ver­sion: http://www.jmir.org/2016/1/e3/

Eichen­berg, C. & Herz­berg, P.Y. (2016). Do The­ra­pists Google Their Pati­ents? A Sur­vey Among Psy­cho­the­ra­pists. J Med Inter­net Res, 18 (1):e3. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.4306.