Digital psychological interventions have the potential to scale up treatment delivery for populations suffering from mental health problems around the globe. However, there are also significant challenges associated with these innovations. For instance, how can we make digital interventions even more personally relevant for the individual? How can we combine psychological theory and technological innovations to intervene early and thus prevent subsequent psychopathology? These are some of the topics highlighted in this special issue of mHealth on the topic “Applying technological advances in behavioural researches”.
Torous et al. provides a selective review of digital tools for depressive symptoms and have incorporated an interesting discussion how we can use technology to help patients reach personally meaningful goals. Rikardsson et al. report data from a pilot feasibility study where the authors have collaboratively worked with pain patients to develop a novel streamlined online intervention [internet-based acceptance and commitment therapy (iACT)]. Results indicated high degree of treatment uptake and positive effects on life values. These two studies highlight the importance of further personalizing and refining digital interventions.
Digital psychological interventions have the potential to reach individuals at high risk of developing subsequent mental health problems. Rus-Calafel and Schneider makes an extensive literature review summarizing the supply and current evidence-base of digital interventions for individuals in the prodromal state period of psychosis. Wahlund et al. report data from a multiple baseline feasibility trial investigating an early-life intervention (teenagers) targeting excessive worry. Kessler et al. report user experience data from a novel app “Mobilum” aimed to assess and intervene on intrusive memories which could be used in the immediate aftermath of trauma.
There is still room for improvement of current digital interventions. The current issue highlights this ambition and paves the way for new innovative ideas.
Provenance and Peer Review: This article was commissioned by the editorial office, mHealth for the series “Application of Technological Advances in Behavioral Researches”. The article did not undergo external peer review.
Conflicts of Interest: The author has completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form (available at http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/mhealth.2020.03.04). EA serves as the unpaid editorial board member of mHealth from Dec 2018 to Nov 2020 and served as the unpaid Guest Editor of the series. Dr. Andersson reports royalties from a published book on health anxiety. The series “Application of Technological Advances in Behavioral Researches” was commissioned by the editorial office without any funding or sponsorship.
Ethical Statement: The author is accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Open Access Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits the non-commercial replication and distribution of the article with the strict proviso that no changes or edits are made and the original work is properly cited (including links to both the formal publication through the relevant DOI and the license). See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.
Cite this article as: Andersson E. Applying technological advances in behavioral researches. mHealth 2020;6:25.