Improving online mental health screening with a customized interim report to overcome mental health literacy and privacy concerns

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Improving online mental health screening with a customized interim report to overcome mental health literacy and privacy concerns
Heo, Yoon
Jung, Dooyoung
Issue Date
Graduate School of UNIST
Introduction University student’s mental health is one of the important problems because students with severe mental illness are increasing as well as many students are suffering from mental disease such as depression, anxiety disorder and eating disorder. The World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys showed that only 6.7-23.1% of students took treatment for their mental disorders. Students are reluctant to visit the healthcare center due to barriers such as stigma, lack of awareness, lack of time, and perceived need. Awareness and perceived needs are related to Mental Health Literacy (MHL). MHL has been highlighted as a solution to the main factors of barriers to mental health services especially attitude or stigma, and help-seeking efficacies. The service to be introduced in this study is intended to be developed with a focus on the following four aspects. First, students do not need to check one symptom, but rather to examine the comprehensive disorders. Second, it should help to enable students to self-profile and increase awareness because it visualizes the results with short comments after finishing the screening. Third, it requests to evaluate students’ own mental health and compare the perceived mental health to the screening results. Lastly, students can access the screening without any personal information, which will reduce public stigma. Methods The screening was open January 15, 2020 for two weeks, and it was sent via Healthcare center e-mail asking UNIST students to use the screening in both Korean and English. There are four steps. The first two steps (introduction and first overall screening) are mandatory and the other steps (second advanced screening and service registration) are optional. Once the first overall screening is complete, users can apply for service or proceed with the second screening. If the user goes through the second screening process, the user can also apply for the service on the results page when the second screening is completed. Results A total of 189 students participated in the screening. Of 38 (20%) were excluded for two reasons. First, I excluded those who used the English version screening (27 participants) due to between the Korean and English version screening. In the English screening, there are only simple comments, but no second screening and no application link for service. Second, an item for validation is placed at the end question of each screening e.g., PHQ-9 originally consists of 9 questions, and the last one included the question such as “Are you a man?” for validation. So, PHQ-9 was changed into 10 questions. There were 11 people who were inconsistent compared with validation question and intro page questionnaires, and they were excluded. Therefore, the analysis was conducted on 151 (79%) people who finished the basic screening. Of the 151 people, four applied for service directly and 65 used the second screening. Discussion The screening service checks overall mental health as a first step. Traditional online screening usually checks only one symptom, but it checks overall because lots of students have a barrier to mental health service by awareness. I assume that it is better to check overall for students who have low mental health literacy. In addition, it also can download results. The service suggests the second advanced screening and offline service registration. It also helps to resolve stigma, which is often experienced in mental health, because the screening does not request any information about privacy when using it. When each step is complete, offline services are also linked, so students will get enough information about mental health just by using the service. Forty percent of participants followed the proposed service and the reason for finishing the first overall screening was also not negative reason (83%). Furthermore, the service has even increased interest in mental health by employing ideas of similar concepts in other fields. So, the study showed that this service is valuable enough because it has created a well-founded service by adopting similar ideas from other fields.
Department of Human Factors Engineering
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