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Supporting talk-based mental health interventions with digital whiteboards

Perlich, Anja; von Thienen, Julia; Meinel, Christoph in Proceedings of the European Medical Informatics Conference (MIE 2014) "e-Health – For Continuity of Care" 2014 .

The potential of mental health interventions supported by computers has rarely been explored to date, and the use of technology has hence been limited. There is a need for finding new ways of providing engaging psychotherapy services. We introduce the digital whiteboard system Tele-Board MED (TBM) as a new approach of promoting patient-therapist interaction and joint documentation. Based on observations of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions and a text material review we identified possibly useful features. We conducted a qualitative and quantitative feedback study with 34 therapists in the form of a questionnaire based on a video showing the system’s fundamental concept and features. This allowed us to evaluate the therapists’ attitudes and the ability of a system like TBM to meet user needs. We encountered willingness to use the system primarily driven by practical interest in fulfilling administrative and legal requirements. Skepticism regarding patient file transparency and technology use was also found. The main insight is that reestablishing the nature of CBT sessions towards higher patient engagement can more successfully be pursued if technology provides incentives for therapists, such as features that speed up administrative tasks.
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