Moderated Online Social Therapy: A Model for Reducing Stress in Carers of Young People Diagnosed with Mental Health Disorders
Web of Science
AuthorGleeson, J; Lederman, R; Koval, P; Wadley, G; Bendall, S; Cotton, S; Herrman, H; Crisp, K; Alvarez-Jimenez, M
Source TitleFrontiers in Psychology
PublisherFRONTIERS MEDIA SA
University of Melbourne Author/sHerrman, Helen; Lederman, Reeva; Wadley, Gregory; Cotton, Susan; Koval, Peter; Alvarez, Mario; Gleeson, John; Bendall, Catherine
AffiliationCentre for Youth Mental Health
Computing and Information Systems
Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsGleeson, J., Lederman, R., Koval, P., Wadley, G., Bendall, S., Cotton, S., Herrman, H., Crisp, K. & Alvarez-Jimenez, M. (2017). Moderated Online Social Therapy: A Model for Reducing Stress in Carers of Young People Diagnosed with Mental Health Disorders. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, 8 (MAR), https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00485.
Access StatusOpen Access
Family members caring for a young person diagnosed with the onset of mental health problems face heightened stress, depression, and social isolation. Despite evidence for the effectiveness of family based interventions, sustaining access to specialist family interventions is a major challenge. The availability of the Internet provides possibilities to expand and sustain access to evidence-based psychoeducation and personal support for family members. In this paper we describe the therapeutic model and the components of our purpose-built moderated online social therapy (MOST) program for families. We outline the background to its development, beginning with our face-to-face EPISODE II family intervention, which informed our selection of therapeutic content, and the integration of recent developments in positive psychology. Our online interventions for carers integrate online therapy, online social networking, peer and expert support, and online social problem solving which has been designed to reduce stress in carers. The initial version of our application entitled Meridian was shown to be safe, acceptable, and feasible in a feasibility study of carers of youth diagnosed with depression and anxiety. There was a significant reduction in self-reported levels of stress in caregivers and change in stress was significantly correlated with use of the system. We have subsequently launched a cluster RCT for caregivers with a relative diagnosed with first-episode psychosis. Our intervention has the potential to improve access to effective specialist support for families facing the onset of serious mental health problems in their young relative.
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