Perceived helpfulness of a moderated online social therapy network for young people experiencing social anxiety

Journal article


O’Bree, Bridget, Walton, Courtney C., Bendall, Sarah, Wilson, Michael, Valentine, Lee, McEnery, Carla, D’Alfonso, Simon, Alvarez-Jimenez, Mario and Rice, Simon. (2021). Perceived helpfulness of a moderated online social therapy network for young people experiencing social anxiety. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 18(6), p. Article 2796. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062796
AuthorsO’Bree, Bridget, Walton, Courtney C., Bendall, Sarah, Wilson, Michael, Valentine, Lee, McEnery, Carla, D’Alfonso, Simon, Alvarez-Jimenez, Mario and Rice, Simon
Abstract

There is a growing need for more effective delivery of digital mental health interventions, particularly for individuals experiencing difficulty accessing or engaging with traditional face-to-face therapy. Young people with social anxiety, and young males with social anxiety in particular need interventions sensitized to their needs. While digital interventions for mental health have proliferated, increasing their accessibility and utility, the data on acceptability and effectiveness of these interventions, however, indicates a need for improvement. The current study sought to utilise qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with 70 participants (male n = 33; age range = 14–25 years, mean age = 19.8) from a single-group pilot study of a novel intervention for young people with social anxiety (Entourage), using a content analysis approach. Results indicated that participants spoke about five main categories: connection, anxiety management, appeal, disengagement and system improvement. No overt gender differences were found in the appeal or perceived helpfulness of the Entourage platform. The current study provides valuable information and suggestions to guide future improvement of digital interventions for young people, particularly those experiencing social anxiety.

Keywordsyoung people; social anxiety; digital interventions; qualitative evaluation; gender sensitisation
Year2021
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Journal citation18 (6), p. Article 2796
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI AG)
ISSN1661-7827
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062796
PubMed ID33801893
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85102398560
PubMed Central IDPMC7999473
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-18
FunderNational Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online10 Mar 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted08 Mar 2021
Deposited19 Nov 2021
Grant IDNHMRC/1177235
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License: CC BY 4.0
File access level: Open

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