Topic: Violence and abuse

My everyday life

In this project we will develop and pilot test an application for smartphones (an "app") where adolescents between 13 and 18 years who receive trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) in Norwegian outpatient mental health clinics (BUP) can monitor their own symptoms during their therapy courses, and get access to tools for coping with symptoms they experience in their everyday lives.

 
2019 This project is ongoing 2021

Project Manager

Project Members

Main objective

The main goal of this project is that adolescents with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will recover as fast as possible. It is also a goal to have more user involvement in treatment of PTSD, and that patients will attain more insight in, and better possibilities to influence, their own therapy courses.

In order to do this we will

1. Develop an app where adolescents with PTSD can learn about and cope their own symptoms, thoughts and feelings, in a user-friendly, fun, useful, and effective way, and

2. Conduct a preliminary assessment of the effect of this app (both from the perspective of users, and with a quantitative pilot study)

The main questions to be explored in this project are therefore: What should the content of this app be, and how should it look, in order to be useful for adolescents in treatment for PTSD? Is the app helpful from the users’ perspectives (both patients and therapists)? Is the app effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD?

The project is approved by the Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics in South-East Norway (REK), and will be conducted in line with recommendations on data privacy from the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD).

Subsidiary objectives

Work package 1: Creating and designing a pilot version of the app

Work package 2: Testing the app

Work package 3: Evaluate the effect of the app

Work package 4: Dissemination and making the app available

Method

To get input on relevant functionality and design of the app, we will undertake interviews of adolescents and therapists, and we will gather information regarding experiences with similar apps. For now, we think that the app will have four main functions:

1) Psychoeducation: The app will provide information about trauma, common reactions, and how recovery can be promoted.

2) Tools: The app includes a variety of breathing and meditation exercises, and suggest ways to cope with trauma reactions.

3) Support to set goals and do the necessary tasks to achieve them: The app encourage the adolescent to set their own goals, and they can schedule reminders to do tasks they have given themselves, and register their accomplishments.  

4). Feedback about their own profile of symptoms and development: Once a day, the participants will be asked to indicate to what extent they have experienced intrusive memories and other symptoms of PTSD that day. Based on this, the app will provide information about what the adolescent and the therapist should focus on.

These are elements that can be changed during the process of developing and designing the app.

Further information

This project is funded by the Dam Foundation through The Norwegian Council of Mental Health.