Investigating the feasibility of MePlusMe, an online intervention to support mental health, well-being, and study skills in higher education students
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Goozee, R., Barrable, A., Lubenko, J., Papadatou-Pastou, M., Haddad, M., McKeown, E., Hirani, S.P., Martin, M. and Tzotzoli, P. (2022) ‘Investigating the feasibility of MePlusMe, an online intervention to support mental health, well-being, and study skills in higher education students’, Journal of Mental Health, pp. 1–11. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2022.2069699.
Introduction While there are several web-based mental health interventions, few target higher education (HE) students. Importantly, more research is needed to establish their effectiveness. Here, we provide a pragmatic evaluation of an online intervention (MePlusMe) specifically designed to improve the mental health, well-being, and study skills of HE students. Methods In accordance with the published protocol for a feasibility study, we recruited a convenience sample of 137 HE students to participate in an eight-week intervention, with 26 participants retained at week 8. Validated measures of mood (depression and anxiety), well-being, and self-efficacy were collected at baseline, 2, 4, and 8 weeks, alongside two feedback forms assessing design and functionality (baseline) and engagement (week 4 and 8). Results We observed significant reductions in levels of anxiety and depression as well as increases in well-being, but no changes in self-efficacy. Participants rated the system design and functionality positively and qualitative findings indicated high levels of satisfaction with MePlusMe. Discussion Findings support both the acceptability and the effectiveness of MePlusMe. Nonetheless, modest retention rates limit the precision and generalisability of these findings. Further investigation should ascertain optimal duration of engagement, most acceptable means of outcome assessment, and further detail about obstacles to utilisation.