Special Issue "Improving Health Management and Well-Being for Young and Older Adults with eHealth and mHealth"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Diana Castilla
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pyschological, Personality, Evaluation and Treatment, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
Interests: mental health applications; quality of life, HCI; usability; ergonomics; user experience; acceptability
Dr. Carlos Suso-Ribera
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Basic Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology, Universitat Jaume I, 12071 Castellon de la Plana, Spain
Interests: mental health applications; eHealth, chronic pain; emotional disorders
Dr. Sabrina Cipolletta
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
Interests: constructivism; eHealth; health psychology; online communities; qualitative methods; telepsychology

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues, 

We are organizing a Special Issue featuring original research and systematic reviews investigating the use of eHealth and mHealth systems to improve the health management and well-being in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. IJERPH is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes different types of papers, including articles, reviews, and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to: https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/journal/ijerph

How can ICTs help us to improve eHealth and mHealth? Information and communication technologies are shaping the way health and mental health are managed. The aim of this Special Issue is to publish studies concerning efficacy, (cost-)effectiveness, acceptability, usability or user experience issues of systems aimed to improve the quality of life, mental health or eHealth management in young and older adults.  

Special attention will be given to innovative submissions using ICTs to improve the currently health management model. Other manuscript types of interest include systematic reviews, relevant position papers, and brief reports. 

Kind regards,

Dr. Diana Castilla
Dr. Carlos Suso-Ribera
Prof. Dr. Sabrina Cipolletta
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

  • quality of life
  • eHealth management
  • emotional disorders
  • pain management
  • web-based intervention: promotion, prevention, and treatment
  • mental health applications
  • cost-effectiveness
  • user experience
  • acceptability
  • usability

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
mHealth for the Monitoring of Brace Compliance and Wellbeing in Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis: Study Protocol for a Feasibility Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7767; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18157767 - 22 Jul 2021
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Attempts to optimize monitoring of brace adherence prescribed to adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis (IS) have generally relied on sensors. Sensors, however, are intrusive and do not allow the assessment of psychological and physical consequences of brace use that might underlie poor adherence. Mobile [...] Read more.
Attempts to optimize monitoring of brace adherence prescribed to adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis (IS) have generally relied on sensors. Sensors, however, are intrusive and do not allow the assessment of psychological and physical consequences of brace use that might underlie poor adherence. Mobile applications have emerged as alternatives to monitor brace compliance. However, the feasibility and utility of these app-based systems to assess key psychological and physical domains associated with non-adherence remain unexplored. This feasibility study aims to test the usability, acceptability, and clinical utility of an app-based system that monitors brace use and related psychological and physical factors. Forty adolescents with IS daily respond to the app for 90 days. The patient responses may generate clinical alarms (e.g., brace non-adherence, discomfort, or distress) that will be sent daily to the medical team. Primary outcomes will be app usability, acceptability, and response rates. Secondary outcomes will include brace adherence, the number of side effects reported, number and type of clinical alarms, stress, quality of life, perceived health status, and mood. If accepted by patients and clinicians, apps may allow rapid detection and response to undesired events in adolescents undergoing brace treatment. Full article
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Article
Characterizing Breakthrough Cancer Pain Using Ecological Momentary Assessment with a Smartphone App: Feasibility and Clinical Findings
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5991; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115991 - 03 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 851
Abstract
Background: mobile applications (apps) facilitate cancer pain ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and provide more reliable data than retrospective monitoring. The aims of this study are (a) to describe the status of persons with cancer pain when assessed ecologically, (b) to analyze the utility [...] Read more.
Background: mobile applications (apps) facilitate cancer pain ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and provide more reliable data than retrospective monitoring. The aims of this study are (a) to describe the status of persons with cancer pain when assessed ecologically, (b) to analyze the utility of clinical alarms integrated into the app, and (c) to test the feasibility of implementing an app for daily oncological pain monitoring. Methods: in this feasibility study, 21 patients (mean age = 56.95 years, SD = 10.53, 81.0% men) responded to an app-based evaluation of physical status (baseline and breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP)) and mental health variables (fatigue, mood, and coping) daily during 30 days. Results: cancer pain characterization with the app was similar to data from the literature using retrospective assessments in terms of BTcP duration and perceived medication effectiveness. However, BTcP was less frequent when evaluated ecologically. Pain, fatigue, and mood were comparable in the morning and evening. Passive coping strategies were the most employed daily. Clinical alarms appear to be useful to detect and address adverse events. App implementation was feasible and acceptable. Conclusion: apps reduce recall bias and facilitate a rapid response to adverse events in oncological care. Future efforts should be addressed to integrate EMA and ecological momentary interventions to facilitate pain self-management via apps. Full article
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Article
Effectiveness of a Web-Based Intervention on Parental Psychological Flexibility and Emotion Regulation: A Pilot Open Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2958; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18062958 - 13 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1071
Abstract
“Parenting Forest” is an informed contextual therapy parenting program for improving parental emotion regulation strategies and psychological flexibility. The aim of this study was to evaluate the preliminary effectiveness of a self-guided web-based intervention of the Parenting Forest program. The intervention program consists [...] Read more.
“Parenting Forest” is an informed contextual therapy parenting program for improving parental emotion regulation strategies and psychological flexibility. The aim of this study was to evaluate the preliminary effectiveness of a self-guided web-based intervention of the Parenting Forest program. The intervention program consists of six self-applied sequential modules that use strategies from contextual therapies for providing a parenting style open to experience, mindful and committed to its actions. A pilot controlled open trial was conducted. Eligible parents (n = 12) enrolled in the web-based intervention completed baseline (T1) and post-intervention (T2) assessment instruments. Parental psychological flexibility, avoidance, emotional regulation, parental stress, satisfaction with life, children’s psychological adjustment and client satisfaction were measured to assess the effects of the intervention. Mood, coping, and value-related actions were assessed as measures of progress. The results showed positive effects on the parents’ psychological flexibility and emotion regulation. Parents’ mood and coping skills improved throughout the intervention program. These results provide preliminary evidence of the web-based Parenting Forest’s efficacy, although further research is needed to assess its effectiveness for prevention and in clinical populations. Full article
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Article
Effects of the Physician–Primary-Healthcare Nurse Telemedicine Model (P-NTM) on Medication Adherence and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) of Patients with Chronic Disease at Remote Rural Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2502; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052502 - 03 Mar 2021
Viewed by 905
Abstract
Chronic diseases are a major cause of death and have a negative impact on community health. This study explored the effects of a chronic-disease management program utilizing the physician–primary-healthcare nurse telemedicine model (P–NTM) on medication adherence and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in [...] Read more.
Chronic diseases are a major cause of death and have a negative impact on community health. This study explored the effects of a chronic-disease management program utilizing the physician–primary-healthcare nurse telemedicine model (P–NTM) on medication adherence and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in 113 patients with chronic diseases in remote rural areas. We used a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent-control-group pretest–post-test design. This study used secondary data from the 2018 Pilot Telemedicine Project for Underserved Remote Rural Areas. In this study, 113 subjects participated, in which the patient’s first visit was assigned as a control group for the previous face-to-face hospital care; after three months of receiving the P–NTM program, the same subjects were assigned to be the experiment group for P–NTM. Data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics, a paired t-test, and logistic regression. With regard to the results, subjects showed a 1.76 times higher probability of improving medication adherence after participating in P–NTM compared to hospital care (odds ratio (OR) = 1.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.34–2.31). Our findings showed that patients with chronic diseases, especially those who reside in remote rural areas, should be provided with effective health services, utilizing various strategies to enhance a healthy life. Full article
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Article
Predictors of Adherence in Three Low-Intensity Intervention Programs Applied by ICTs for Depression in Primary Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1774; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041774 - 11 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
Depression is one of the most common disorders in psychiatric and primary care settings, and is associated with disability, loss in quality of life, and economic costs. Internet-based psychological interventions have been shown to be effective in depression treatment but present problems with [...] Read more.
Depression is one of the most common disorders in psychiatric and primary care settings, and is associated with disability, loss in quality of life, and economic costs. Internet-based psychological interventions have been shown to be effective in depression treatment but present problems with a low degree of adherence. The main aim of this study is to analyze the adherence predictors in three low-intensity interventions programs applied by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for depression. A multi-center, randomized, controlled clinical trial was conducted with 164 participants with depression, who were allocated to: Healthy Lifestyle Program, Positive Affect Promotion Program or Mindfulness Program. Sociodemographic characteristics, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Visual Analog Scale, Short Form Health Survey, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire, Pemberton Happiness Index and Treatment Expectancy Questionnaire were used to study adherence. Results showed that positive affect resulted in a predictor variable for Healthy Lifestyle Program and Positive Affect Promotion Program. Perceived health was also a negative adherence predictor for the Positive Affect Promotion Program. Our findings demonstrate that there are differences in clinical variables between treatment completers and non-completers and we provide adherence predictors in two intervention groups. Although new additional predictors have been examined, further research is essential in order to improve tailored interventions and increase adherence treatment. Full article
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Article
Illness Experiences and Attitudes towards Medication in Online Communities for People with Fibromyalgia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8683; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17228683 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 737
Abstract
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disabling syndrome, and the legitimacy of its diagnosis is still debated. Internet and online communities may become a relevant resource for affected people. This present study aims to understand the role of online communities relating to fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) [...] Read more.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disabling syndrome, and the legitimacy of its diagnosis is still debated. Internet and online communities may become a relevant resource for affected people. This present study aims to understand the role of online communities relating to fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) patients’ illness experiences and their attitudes towards medication. A qualitative content analysis based on the grounded theory approach was conducted on 19 conversations from an online forum, and 14 online interviews. Illness experience, lack of reference points, online communities, personal role and attitude towards medication were the five categories identified, with the search for recognition as the core category. The study highlighted that online communities represent a resource that allows users to express and share their needs, especially in terms of legitimacy and recognition. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Effectiveness of a Web-based Intervention on Parental Psychological Flexibility and Emotion Regulation: a pilot study.
Authors: Juan M. Flujas-Contreras; Azucena García-Palacios; Inmaculada Gómez
Affiliation: Department of Psychology University of Almeria, Spain
Abstract: Parenting Forest is a contextual therapy informed parenting program that aims to improve parents’ emotion regulation strategies and psychological flexibility. The aim of this study is to evaluate the preliminary effectiveness of a self-guided web-based intervention of the Parenting Forest program. The intervention program consists of 6 self-applied sequential modules that use strategies from contextual therapies with the aim of providing a parenting style open to experience, mindful and committed to its actions. A pilot controlled trial was conducted. Eligible parents (N=12) were enrolled in the web-based intervention. Parents completed baseline (T1) and post-intervention (T2) assessment. Instruments of parental psychological flexibility, avoidance, emotional regulation, parental stress, satisfaction with life, children psychological adjustment and client’s satisfaction instruments were used to assess the effects of intervention. Mood, coping and values-related actions were assessed as process measure. The results showed positive effects in the parents’ psychological flexibility, emotion regulation and parental stress. Parents improved in their mood and coping skills throughout the intervention program. These results provide preliminary evidence of the Parenting Forest’s efficacy, although further research is needed to assess its effectiveness both in preventive intervention and in clinical population.

Title: Enhancing therapeutic components in the treatment of gambling disorder using location-based technologies: A case series study.
Authors: Laura Díaz-Sanahuja; Ignacio Miralles; Carlos Granell; Adriana Mira; Alberto González-Pérez; Sven Casteleyn; Azucena García-Palacios; Juana Bretón-López
Affiliation: Universitat Jaume I
Abstract: Gambling Disorder (GD) is a non-substance-related disorder leading to clinically significant impairment in important areas of life and represents an emergent public health problem with prevalence ranging up to 5%. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the treatment of choice, whereby stimulus control (SC) and exposure with response prevention (ERP) are the two core components. In spite of the efficacy, SC and ERP are not easy components to deliver and they are hard for patients. There are inherent difficulties, related to the commitment for those people who suffer GD, and high attrition rates and relapses are generally present. It is thus important to strengthen these key therapeutic components and maximize their motivational features, as well as to explore new ways to enhance the patient’s compliance with SC and ERP. In this respect, the use of smartphones is a very useful option to explore in order to initiate and sustain these key components. The main purpose of this case series study is to describe the use of smartphones and location-based technologies (using the Symptoms platform) in SC and ERP during the treatment of two patients diagnosed with GD, while assessing the acceptability and usability of the platform by the patients. The patients reported positive expectations and an overall satisfactory experience. This work contributes to improving the intervention by providing tools during the treatment’s crucial components and by offering a starting point that opens up new avenues for psychological interventions through the use of smartphone devices with location-based technology.

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