Mental Health Pathways in Internet Support Groups
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|ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02396472|
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : March 24, 2015
Last Update Posted : March 6, 2018
|Condition or disease||Intervention/treatment||Phase|
|Depression Stress Anxiety||Behavioral: Order by time and topic Behavioral: Order by information relevance Behavioral: Order by social relationship Behavioral: Order by help giving Behavioral: Order by self-disclosure||Not Applicable|
Internet support groups (ISGs) are online communities where people come together to exchange information, emotional support and other resources. They are an important resource for patients grappling with serious medical conditions. Although participation in health-related ISGs has been associated with significant reductions in participant-reported depression, anxiety and other indicators of psychological distress, many ISG members leave too soon to benefit. In a parallel study, we are using state-of-the art machine learning and automated language analysis techniques to assess the types of interactions that keep people participating in these groups and that lead to improved psychosocial well-being and health quality of life and how these interactions develop. The clinical trial described here uses these technologies and insights from our empirical research to build, deploy, and evaluate interventions that improve the interactions in Internet health support groups.
We will develop and pilot-test interventions to encourage effective communication processes identified in our empirical research. Participants from the American Cancer Society's Cancer Support Network will access this support group using either the default interface that orders content by disease diagnosis and date or with a new interface that sometimes highlights communication content and people who match their interests and needs. We will test whether mood, satisfaction with interactions and engagement in the group increase following interventions that (a) increase participants' receipt of individualized support from others; (b) provide participants with opportunities to offer support to others; (c) facilitate participants' expression of emotions; and (d) help participants form relationships with compatible peers. In a series of small, randomized experiments, we will examine how these interventions affect participants' communication behaviors as well as short-term engagement and satisfaction with their online interactions.
|Study Type :||Interventional (Clinical Trial)|
|Estimated Enrollment :||6500 participants|
|Intervention Model:||Single Group Assignment|
|Masking:||Double (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)|
|Primary Purpose:||Supportive Care|
|Official Title:||Internet Support Groups: Identifying and Improving Pathways for Mental Health|
|Actual Study Start Date :||June 2016|
|Estimated Primary Completion Date :||April 2019|
|Estimated Study Completion Date :||April 2019|
Placebo Comparator: Order by time and topic
Volunteers from the American Cancer Society's Cancer Survivors' Network (CSN) will see some of their messages delivered using CSN's default ordering, which shows messages within a conversational thread ordered by time stamp. Conversational threads are nested within a broad topic-based forum, like breast cancer or colorectal cancer survivors.
Note that this is a within-participant trial, so that all participants participate in all arms of the trial. Messages, not people, are randomly assigned to condition.
Behavioral: Order by time and topic
Active Comparator: Order by information relevance
In this condition some messages will be highlighted if they match the type of content the user has previously shown interest in, by previously contributing or reading semantically similar material.
Behavioral: Order by information relevance
Active Comparator: Order by social relationship
In this condition some messages will be highlighted because they come from people the user has previously shown interest in, by previously reading their posts or communicating with them.
Behavioral: Order by social relationship
Active Comparator: Order by help giving
In this condition some messages will be highlighted because they seek help and therefore provide an opportunity for participants to provide social support to others.
Behavioral: Order by help giving
Active Comparator: Order by self-disclosure
In this condition some messages will be highlighted because in them the writer is self-disclosing, and they provide provide an opportunity for participants to self-disclose in return.
Behavioral: Order by self-disclosure
- Read message (Does the user read the message they were exposed to?) [ Time Frame: 1 day ]
- Interaction satisfaction (Self-report measure of satisfaction 3-item survey) [ Time Frame: 1 day ]Self-report measure of satisfaction with a random sample of messages. This is a 3-item survey that will be delivered as a pop-up questionnaire following a random sample of the messages users were exposed to.
- Reply to message (How long does it take the users to reply to a message they were exposed to, if they reply at all.) [ Time Frame: 2 days ]How long does it take the users to reply to a message they were exposed to, if they reply at all.
To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02396472
|Contact: Robert E Kraut, PhD||412 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Contact: Indra Danti||412 email@example.com|
|United States, Pennsylvania|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Recruiting|
|Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15213|
|Principal Investigator:||Robert E Kraut, PhD||Carnegie Mellon University|