Predictors of adolescent engagement and outcomes – A cross-sectional study using the Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall) digital mental health platform
Marinova N, Rogers T, and MacBeth A. “Predictors of Adolescent Engagement and Outcomes – A Cross-Sectional Study Using the Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall) Digital Mental Health Platform.” Journal of affective disorders 311 (2022): 284–293. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2022.05.058
This study modelled predictors of engagement and symptom change in adolescent users of Togetherall anonymous digital mental health peer-support platform. Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of longitudinal user data from 606 Togetherall users (16-18 years old) referred from mental health services in the United Kingdom. Togetherall is a membership-based digital platform that supports delivery of peer support moderated by professionals, self-help materials, guided courses, digital art, and self-monitoring of mental well-being. Usage metrics, including number of logins, session duration, usage time, and number of guided courses and self-help materials accessed were collected. Participant characteristics and anxiety and depression symptoms were used to predict engagement and participants chose when and whether to complete a symptom measure. Average number of logins was 5.11 and mean usage time 64.22 minutes. 34% of participants discontinued use after one log-in. Total usage time predicted more access of self-help materials. Females made greater use of materials and courses than males. Higher baseline depression and anxiety, longer usage time, and session duration predicted lower post intervention depression scores. Higher baseline depression and anxiety and more self-help materials accessed predicted lower post intervention anxiety scores. Findings demonstrate that adolescents with significant levels of morbidity readily engaged with an anonymous online platform for support with mental health. Togetherall may offer a supportive community for adolescents using mental health services. Future studies are needed to establish effectiveness, adherence and acceptability using robust RCTs with active comparison groups.