A next-generation social media-based relapse prevention intervention for youth depression: Qualitative data on user experience outcomes for social networking, safety, and clinical benefit
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Internet Interventions, ISSN: 2214-7829, Vol: 9, Page: 65-73
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Major depressive disorder (MDD) has a high prevalence and relapse rate among young people. For many individuals depression exhibits a severe course, and it is therefore critical to invest in innovative online interventions for depression that are cost-effective, acceptable and feasible. At present, there is a scarcity of research reporting on qualitative data regarding the subjective user experience of young people using social networking-based interventions for depression. This study provides in-depth qualitative insights generated from 38 semi-structured interviews, and a follow-up focus group, with young people (15–25 years) after the implementation of a moderated online social therapy intervention for depression relapse prevention (“Rebound”). Exploratory analysis identified patterns of content from interview data related to three main themes: 1) preferred content compared to perceived helpfulness of the online platform, 2) interest in social networking, and 3) protective environment. Two clear groups emerged; those who perceived the social networking component of the intervention as the most helpful component; and those who preferred to engage in therapy content, receiving individualized content suggested by moderators. The Rebound intervention was shown to be acceptable for young people with major depression. Integration of social networking features appears to enhance intervention engagement for some young people recovering from depression.