Special Issue "Cyber Health Psychology and Psychotherapy: The Use of New Technologies in the Service of Mental Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Pasquale Caponnetto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center of Excellence for the acceleration of HArm Reduction (CoEHAR), University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
Interests: clinical psychology; health psychology; mental health; addiction; cyberpsychology; harm reduction; cognition; psychotherapy; cognitive remediation; psychological assessment; recovery
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Maria Salvina Signorelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Psychiatry, University of Catania, 95121 Catania, Italy
Interests: mood disorders; depression; telemedicine; cognition; personality disorders; schizophrenia
Dr. Marilena Maglia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center of Excellence for the acceleration of HArm Reduction (CoEHAR), University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
Interests: addiction; psychology; systemic psychotherapy; drug addiction in adolescence and adulthood; drug rehabilitation; parenting and drug addiction; dual diagnosis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue, some of the technologies used in the clinical-psychological, psychotherapy, and mental healths field will be analysed, including virtual reality, biosensors, artificial intelligence, and affective computing, with the aim of understanding how technological progress and the emergence of new technologies can generate value within the psychological panorama. Research suggests that the integrated use of psychological techniques and new technologies is extremely productive in terms of the potential improvement of health and therefore of “psychologycal health empowerment”. Given the great potential of the instruments analyzed that still continue to evolve and be refined, it is advisable to know them, validate their effectiveness, and adapt our operational models to new mental realities.

Dr. Pasquale Caponnetto
Prof. Maria Salvina Signorelli
Dr. Marilena Maglia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cyberpsychology
  • virtual reality
  • avatar therapy
  • artificial intelligence
  • biofeedback in psychology

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Effect of Mind Subtraction Meditation Intervention on Smartphone Addiction and the Psychological Wellbeing among Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3263; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17093263 - 07 May 2020
Viewed by 1335
Abstract
As the smartphone has become an indispensable device in modern lives, consequential psychosocial problems such as smartphone addiction have been getting attention worldwide, especially regarding adolescents. Based on its positive effect on young individuals’ mental health, mind subtraction meditation has been widely applied [...] Read more.
As the smartphone has become an indispensable device in modern lives, consequential psychosocial problems such as smartphone addiction have been getting attention worldwide, especially regarding adolescents. Based on its positive effect on young individuals’ mental health, mind subtraction meditation has been widely applied to many school-based programs in South Korea. This study aims to identify the effects of a school program based on mind subtraction on the smartphone addiction of adolescents. A total of 49 high school sophomores, 24 from the experimental group (mean age = 16), and 25 from the control group (mean age = 16) are included in this case-control study. The experimental group is given the meditation program sessions in the morning, two times a week for 20 min per session, for a total of 12 weeks. The experimental group shows improvements regarding the ‘smartphone addiction’ section (p < 0.001), for instant satisfaction (p < 0.001) and long-term satisfaction (p < 0.001). Concerning the ‘self-control’ section and decreasing stress (p < 0.001), problem focusing (p < 0.001), and social support navigation (p = 0.018), there are improvements in these ‘stress coping strategies’ sections. This study directly shows the positive effect of mind subtraction meditation on smartphone addiction in adolescents and, thus, provides guidance to the future development of smartphone addiction prevention programs for young individuals. Full article

Review

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Review
Immersive Virtual Reality Applications in Schizophrenia Spectrum Therapy: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6111; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17176111 - 22 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1214
Abstract
(1) Background: Virtual Reality (VR) is a fully immersive computer simulated experience consisting of a three-dimensional interactive virtual environment, through a head-mounted display (HMD) and controller. The use of virtual reality has recently been proposed for the treatment of various psychiatric conditions, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Virtual Reality (VR) is a fully immersive computer simulated experience consisting of a three-dimensional interactive virtual environment, through a head-mounted display (HMD) and controller. The use of virtual reality has recently been proposed for the treatment of various psychiatric conditions, including the spectrum of schizophrenia. Our review aims to investigate the current available evidence regarding the use of immersive virtual reality in the treatment of psychotic symptoms. (2) Methods: From April 2019 to June 2020, we conducted a systematic review aimed at identifying therapeutic applications in immersive virtual reality for the spectrum of schizophrenia, searching for relevant studies on Web of Science, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINHAL. (3) Results: We identified a total of 2601 unique records. Of these, 64 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility, and six out of these met the inclusion criteria and were included in the final systematic review. (4) Conclusions: The available data on immersive virtual reality are currently limited due to the few studies carried out on the topic; however, it has demonstrated its effectiveness and versatility in successfully treating various psychotic symptoms including delusions, hallucinations, or cognitive and social skills. Existing literature agrees on safe, tolerable, and long-term persistence of the therapeutic effects obtained by immersive VR. No serious side effects have been reported. In some specific cases, VR therapy was found to be very effective compared to usual treatment, allowing effective drug free interventions, and therefore without side effects for patients, even in those resistant to normal drug therapies. Full article
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Review
A Report on Smoking Detection and Quitting Technologies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2614; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072614 - 10 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2462
Abstract
Mobile health technologies are being developed for personal lifestyle and medical healthcare support, of which a growing number are designed to assist smokers to quit. The potential impact of these technologies in the fight against smoking addiction and on improving quitting rates must [...] Read more.
Mobile health technologies are being developed for personal lifestyle and medical healthcare support, of which a growing number are designed to assist smokers to quit. The potential impact of these technologies in the fight against smoking addiction and on improving quitting rates must be systematically evaluated. The aim of this report is to identify and appraise the most promising smoking detection and quitting technologies (e.g., smartphone apps, wearable devices) supporting smoking reduction or quitting programs. We searched PubMed and Scopus databases (2008-2019) for studies on mobile health technologies developed to assist smokers to quit using a combination of Medical Subject Headings topics and free text terms. A Google search was also performed to retrieve the most relevant smartphone apps for quitting smoking, considering the average user’s rating and the ranking computed by the search engine algorithms. All included studies were evaluated using consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research, such as applied methodologies and the performed evaluation protocol. Main outcome measures were usability and effectiveness of smoking detection and quitting technologies supporting smoking reduction or quitting programs. Our search identified 32 smoking detection and quitting technologies (12 smoking detection systems and 20 smoking quitting smartphone apps). Most of the existing apps for quitting smoking require the users to register every smoking event. Moreover, only a restricted group of them have been scientifically evaluated. The works supported by documented experimental evaluation show very high detection scores, however the experimental protocols usually lack in variability (e.g., only right-hand patients, not natural sequence of gestures) and have been conducted with limited numbers of patients as well as under constrained settings quite far from real-life use scenarios. Several recent scientific works show very promising results but, at the same time, present obstacles for the application on real-life daily scenarios. Full article
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