Effectiveness and uptake of a transdiagnostic emotion regulation mobile intervention among university students: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Background: Going to university is a major life event, which can be stressful and negatively affect mental health. However, it also presents an opportunity to establish a foundation for positive life trajectories. To support university students, a mobile transdiagnostic emotion regulation (ER) intervention has been developed, offering both broad-based (universal) and targeted (indicated) preventative support. ER, a transdiagnostic factor underlying various mental health problems, is a critical intervention target in students, a demographic particularly susceptible to mental health issues. Cultivating ER can help manage immediate stressors and foster long-term wellbeing. This paper describes the study protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) evaluating the effectiveness and uptake of such mobile transdiagnostic ER intervention. Method: The superiority parallel-group RCT involves 250 participants randomized to either the intervention condition (i.e., full access to the mobile intervention, (n = 125) or to a waitlist control condition (n = 125). Primary outcomes include ER skills and stress symptoms. Secondary outcomes include mental health parameters (anxiety, depression, resilience) and intervention uptake (i.e., objective engagement, subjective engagement, ER skills application in real life). Outcomes are assessed at baseline, week 3, 8 and 12, with continuous log-data collection for user engagement. Discussion: This study evaluates the effectiveness and uptake of a transdiagnostic ER mobile intervention for the student population addressing their ER developmental needs. If successful, the results will validate our approach to intervention development and whether focusing on learning transfer (i.e., application of the learnt skills in real-life) and personalization using a recommendation system, can boost the real-world application of skills and intervention impact.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100750
Number of pages10
JournalInternet Interventions
Volume37
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2024

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Publisher Copyright: © 2024 The Authors

Research programs

  • ESSB PSY

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