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Evaluation of a Web-Based Stress Management Application: A Feasibility Study
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare. (Behavioral medicine, health and lifestyle (BeMe-Health))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9890-8249
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare. (Behavioral medicine, health and lifestyle (BeMe-Health))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5098-8489
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9057-0063
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare. (Behavioral medicine, health and lifestyle (BeMe-Health))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4537-030X
2018 (English)In: Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, ISSN 2366-5963Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the current study was to investigate the feasibility of a Web-based program that promotes behavior change for stress-related problems in terms of the program’s acceptability, practicability, and any possible effects. In addition, the aim was also to study how appropriate and realistic the study’s process and resource management would be for conducting a randomized controlled trial. A convenience sample consisting of 14 individuals was recruited from a university in Sweden. The participants had access to the program for a duration of 9 weeks. Questionnaires were answered before accessing, during use of, and after completing the program. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analyzed. The program was considered acceptable and practically feasible, though small adjustments have to be made. The program was considered time-consuming, extensive, and in need of some clarifications. Regarding process and resource management, the study participants required minimum support. It was difficult to identify the time point when to send out the process measures because the participants worked at their own pace. Also, one of the process measurements, the motivation to change, remained stable. With some adjustments to the instructions to the study participants and minor changes in the program, the intervention and study’s procedure were considered as feasible and can be carried out in a randomized controlled trial.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018.
Keywords [en]
stress, internet, behaviour change, occupational stress, health promotion, feasibility
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Care Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-40272DOI: 10.1007/s41347-018-0044-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-40272DiVA, id: diva2:1233988
Funder
AFA Insurance, 130263Available from: 2018-07-20 Created: 2018-07-20 Last updated: 2018-07-20
In thesis
1. Development and evaluation of a web application for stress management: Supporting behaviour change in persons with work related stress
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development and evaluation of a web application for stress management: Supporting behaviour change in persons with work related stress
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Stress is the most common reason for sick leave in Sweden. Stress can lead to health-related problems such as burnout syndrome, depression, sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease and pain. It is important to handle stress at an early stage before it could lead to health-related problems. The web enables to reach many persons at a low cost. Web-applications have proven to be effective regarding several health-related problems. However, adherence is often low and many of the available stress management-programs have not been based on evidence. The overall aim of the thesis was to develop and evaluate a fully automated, evidence-based web-application for stress management for persons experiencing work related stress. The thesis compiles of four studies. Study I contained the systematic development of the program in three phases. Phase one included the development of the program's theoretical framework and content, and phase two consisted of structuring the content and developing the platform to deliver the content from. The third phase consisted of coding the behaviour change supporting content, validation of the program among experts and testing it with one possible end-user. The result was an interactive web-application tailored to the individual's need for stress management supporting behaviour change in several ways; My Stress Control (MSC). In study I, MSC was also tested regarding how to proceed through the program. The results showed that the participants had trouble to reach the program’s end. In study II the feasibility of the coming RCT study procedure was investigated as well as how feasible MSC, the web-application, was to be applied in a larger study. 14 persons participated in study II. The findings proved the scientific study procedure feasible with minor changes, but some changes were required for the web-application to increase the chance for success in a larger, more costly study. In study III nine of the 14 persons that participated in study II were interviewed. The interviews aimed for a better understanding of how the participants experienced the program to further develop it. One theme was identified: Struggling with what I need when stress management is about me. It described an understanding for that stress management takes time and is complex but that it was difficult to find the time for working with it. In study IV, a randomized controlled trial, MSC was evaluated regarding its effect on stress. One group with access to MSC was compared to a wait-list group. 92 persons participated in study IV. The results showed that there were no significant between- or within group differences on perceived stress. A small effect size of MSC on perceived stress was shown between intervention- and wait-list groups, but adherence to the program was low.

These studies support that a web-application based on the evidence within multiple fields may have effect on perceived stress. However, to handle stress on one’s own is complex and the paradox in having one more thing to do when already stressed contribute to a conflict on how to handle the task. How to facilitate adherence to the fully automated program should be further investigated in future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2018
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 269
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Health Sciences
Research subject
Physiotherapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-40277 (URN)978-91-7485-400-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-10-12, Beta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 09:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
AFA Insurance, 130263
Available from: 2018-07-23 Created: 2018-07-20 Last updated: 2018-08-13Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41347-018-0044-8

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Eklund, CarolineElfström, Magnus LEriksson, YvonneSöderlund, Anne
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