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Title: Development of an online intervention using positive psychology for depression
Author: Walsh, Sophie Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 5052
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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Background: Increasingly, it is recommended that to improve access to depression treatment, low-intensity psychological interventions should be developed and investigated. To date, resource-oriented approaches, such as positive psychology, that focus on patients' strengths and positive feelings have not been systematically developed and evaluated, despite evidence of potential effectiveness. This thesis aimed to systematically develop a theoretically sound online intervention using positive psychology and investigate its acceptability. Methods: The intervention's conceptual model was based on evidence synthesised from a systematic review, which identified commonly applied positive psychology components, and a qualitative study with 18 patients and 5 clinicians on the potential acceptability of online positive psychology. The intervention was tested in a feasibility study with 103 participants with depression, to identify the feasibility of study procedures and the acceptability and potential outcomes of the intervention. Intervention acceptability was further explored qualitatively with twenty-three purposively selected participants. Results: Six positive psychology components were included in the intervention to promote positive affect, strengths, and social connections. Half of the sample used the intervention minimally, a third used it moderately, and one fifth used it regularly. The intervention was rated as helpful by a fifth of the overall sample. Participants reported improved symptoms of depression. The qualitative evidence suggested that intervention acceptability could be explained by the extent to which the positive psychology components were perceived as relevant to participants' depression and how empowering they found a low-intensity website. Conclusions: A low-intensity online positive psychology intervention is acceptable and potentially beneficial to some patients with depression. Future research is needed to establish whether online positive psychology is attractive to a distinct population. If so, the developed intervention should be refined and evaluated for effectiveness. However, if there are people who generally prefer online treatments for depression, research should focus on developing the best-evidenced approach.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: East London NHS Foundation Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social and Community Psychiatry ; Online intervention ; depression ; positive psychology