Thought Spot: mHealth Intervention for Post-Secondary Students 
e-Health ePoster Library. Wiljer D. Jun 5, 2017; 167136; EP02.02
David Wiljer
David Wiljer
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Abstract
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Purpose/Objectives: Thought Spot (http://mythoughtspot.ca/ ) is an intervention that provides post-secondary students with an all-in-one online and mobile platform where they can geo-locate mental health and wellness services in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The CIHR eHealth Innovations Partnership Program Grant is aimed at optimizing the Thought Spot platform to effectively meet the needs of end users. Thought Spot makes access to information easy and interactive by mobilizing students to share knowledge about services, discover wellness options in their area and build support networks. The purpose of this e-poster is to provide an overview of the innovative participatory action research methods used during the engagement phase of this project. This project is split into two phases: engagement and intervention enhancement and intervention testing (RCT). Throughout the first phase, post-secondary students shared critical information related to accessibility of services, navigating university and maintaining mental wellness. Findings from our summer workshops with post-secondary students will be presented. Issues surrounding post-secondary student’s help-seeking behaviours, including barriers and facilitators and insights on how to optimize the Thought Spot intervention will be explored further.

Methodology/Approach: Through the use of participatory action research (PAR) principles, we recruited and engaged with students across the GTA to drive the optimization of the Thought Spot platform. The participatory action research strategy encompassed different levels of involvement from passive participation to self-mobilization. Consistent with co-design approaches and PAR, seven student-led workshops, attended by 59 students, were delivered to obtain student feedback regarding the app’s usability, its potential value in a post-secondary setting, effective recruitment strategies for the evaluation and approaches to including health information in the app. The workshops were co-designed and co-facilitated by students to increase ownership and oversight by youth over the research process. A range of creative activities were delivered to provide opportunities for youth to share their views and experiences, including semi-structured focus groups, questionnaires, personas, journey mapping, user-shadowing, and a world café.

Finding/Results: Participants discussed the following issues related to help-seeking throughout the focus groups: feelings of confusion and vulnerability when accessing health services; concerns of stigma, taboo and labelling; and overall health care costs and time constraints. Innovative technological features and refinements to were also brainstormed throughout the workshops. Four key areas of improvement, within the app, were established: creating a hook that creates valuable and relevant interactions from the start; provide more social interaction within the user’s own trusted community; design more responsive discovery, search and navigation functions; and obtain better data and finesse organization within the app.

Conclusion/Implications/Recommendations: Preliminary feedback on engagement and optimization has been positive: challenges in maintaining individual engagement will be addressed by forming smaller student working groups and outlining clearer roles and responsibilities for all participants. Findings from phase two will significantly inform new technological features, within the app, that enable positive help-seeking behaviours amongst transition-aged youth. These behaviors will be further explored in the third phase: a randomized controlled trial.

140 Character Summary: Thought Spot is a mHealth/eHealth intervention providing post-secondary students with an all-in-one platform to locate mental health and wellness services.
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