Testing the differential impact of an internet-based mental health intervention on outcomes of well-being and psychological distress during covid-19: Uncontrolled intervention study

Joep Van Agteren, Kathina Ali, Daniel B. Fassnacht, Matthew Iasiello, Gareth Furber, Alexis Howard, Lydia Woodyatt, Michael Musker, Mike Kyrios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: During COVID-19, the psychological distress and well-being of the general population has been precarious, increasing the need to determine the impact of complementary internet-based psychological interventions on both positive mental health as well as distress states. Psychological distress and mental well-being represent distinct dimensions of our mental health, and congruent changes in outcomes of distress and well-being do not necessarily co-occur within individuals. When testing intervention impact, it is therefore important to assess change in both outcomes at the individual level, rather than solely testing group differences in average scores at the group level. Objective: This study set out to investigate the differential impact of an internet-based group mental health intervention on outcomes of positive mental health (ie, well-being, life satisfaction, resilience) and indicators of psychological distress (ie, depression, anxiety, stress). Methods: A 5-week mental health intervention was delivered to 89 participants using the Zoom platform during 2020. Impact on outcomes of distress, well-being, and resilience was assessed at the start and end of the program with multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) and reliable change indices (RCIs) being used to determine program impact at the group and individual levels, respectively. Results: The intervention significantly improved all mental health outcomes measured, (F6,83=5.60, P<.001; Wilks ?=.71; partial ?2=.29) showing small to moderate effect sizes on individual outcomes. The largest effect sizes were observed for life satisfaction and overall well-being (?2=.22 and ?2=.2, respectively). Larger effect sizes were noted for those with problematic mental health scores at baseline. A total of 92% (82/89) of participants demonstrated reliable change in at least one mental health outcome. Differential response patterns using RCI revealed that more than one-half of the participants showed improvement in both mental well-being and psychological distress, over one-quarter in outcomes of well-being only, and almost one-fifth in distress only. Conclusions: The results provide evidence for the significant impact of an internet-based mental health intervention during COVID-19 and indicate the importance of assessing dimensions of both well-being and distress when determining mental health intervention effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28044
Number of pages14
JournalJMIR mental health
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Covid-19
  • Depression
  • Distress
  • Impact
  • Internet
  • Internet-based interventions
  • Intervention
  • Mental health
  • Online intervention
  • Resilience
  • Stress
  • Study
  • Well-being

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Testing the differential impact of an internet-based mental health intervention on outcomes of well-being and psychological distress during covid-19: Uncontrolled intervention study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this