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Investigating the feasibility of MePlusMe, an online intervention to support mental health, wellbeing, and study skills in higher education students

Goozee, R., Barrable, A., Lubenko, J. , Papadatou-Pastou, M., Haddad, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-4822-5482, McKeown, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-4183-5376, Hirani, S. P. ORCID: 0000-0002-1577-8806, Martin, M. & Tzotzoli, P. Investigating the feasibility of MePlusMe, an online intervention to support mental health, wellbeing, and study skills in higher education students (10.31234/ .


Introduction: While there are several web-based interventions to support mental health, few target students in higher education (HE). Importantly, more research is needed to establish their effectiveness. Here, we provide a pragmatic evaluation of an online intervention (MePlusMe) specifically designed to improve the mental health, wellbeing, and study skills of HE students.

Methods: In accordance with the published protocol for a feasibility study, we obtained a convenience sample of 137 HE students, with students recruited to participate in an 8-week intervention. To evaluate the feasibility and assess the effects of this online intervention, validated measures of mood (depression and anxiety), wellbeing and self-efficacy were collected at baseline, 2, 4 and 8 weeks, alongside two feedback forms assessing design and functionality (baseline), and engagement (week 4 and 8).

Results: We observed statistically significant reductions in levels of anxiety and depression, and increases in wellbeing over the 8-week intervention period. However, there were no significant changes in self-efficacy. Participants rated the system design and functionality positively, and qualitative findings indicated high levels of satisfaction with MePlusMe. Some areas for improvement were also identified.

Discussion: Rates of initial consent, subsequent engagement with the programme, and measure completion, together with qualitative feedback, support the acceptability of the intervention. Significant benefits were observed for the main intended outcomes, with the overall results providing qualified support for the effectiveness of MePlusMe. The significant positive changes associated with use of this system are encouraging. Nonetheless, modest retention rates limit the precision and generalisability of these findings. Further investigation should ascertain optimal duration of engagement, most acceptable means of outcome assessment, and further detail about obstacles to utilisation.

Publication Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: This paper has not been peer reviewed. Please do not copy or cite without author’s permission.
Publisher Keywords: Students, digital intervention, higher education institutions, mental health, COVID-19
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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