Special Issue "Technological and Digital Interventions for Mental Health and Wellbeing: Useful, Usable, and Safe?"

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 2021

Special Issue Editors

1. Patient-Centred Outcomes, ICON plc, Dublin 18, Ireland
2. School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2HA, UK
Interests: workplace wellbeing; digital interventions; eHealth; mHealth; health promotion; organisational psychology; wellbeing and resilience
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad, Palakkad 678557, India
Interests: complexities and ambiguities in the context of increasing metricalisation; technocratisation, globalization and scientifisation of mental health care

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

New digital tools and technologies are being continuously developed and integrated into society and clinical care. The advantages of digital health interventions (DHI) (e.g., internet programs, apps, wearables, robotic systems etc.) include their accessibility, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and high treatment fidelity. The use of digital technologies can serve multiple functions in DHIs, including the facilitation of health communication, psychoeducation, screening, diagnosis and digital phenotyping, symptom management, collection of digital patient-reported outcomes, behaviour change monitoring, self-help content delivery, therapeutic treatment, prevention relapse, and many others.

Intervention acceptability and user engagement are central to the feasibility and successful implementation of DHIs. Generally, intervention acceptability is a multi-component construct and a key component of the design, implementation, and evaluation of all healthcare interventions, but often lacks robust evaluation (Sekhon et al., 2018). Previous research has highlighted the importance of understanding individuals’ motivations and approaches towards DHIs, as these can shape users’ engagement with the intervention (Patel et al., 2020), as well as the importance of addressing the impact of social context on the acceptability of digital interventions (Perski & Short, 2021).

Social sciences’ approaches, methods, and frameworks are well equipped to provide such analyses (Ruppert et al., 2013; Henwood & Marent, 2019) and highlight key factors that can determine digital interventions’ implementation, uptake, and use.

We are especially interested in the ways in which social sciences approaches, knowledge, or methods can explore the advantages and disadvantages of technological and digital interventions for mental health and wellbeing. For example, how can approaches in critical digital health inform their design, implementation, and evaluation? 

Suggested topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • A focus on ethical standards: ethical dilemmas for different stakeholders and ethical implementation (Wykes et al. 2019; Skorburg & Yim, 2021), and individuals’ sense of data generated via their interactions with digital technologies.
  • A focus on intervention acceptability and intervention adoption: acceptability and appropriateness of ehealth solutions, and the impact of sociostructural factors in accessing and taking up digital health interventions.
  • A focus on users’ engagement: the characteristics of disengagement and effective engagement in digital interventions, philosophical approaches that theorise the lived experience of using digital technologies, impact of sociocultural contexts on users’ behaviour, and barriers and facilitators to engagement with digital mental health interventions.
  • A focus on mental health interventions with minority/marginalised populations and mental health in the context of gender, disabilities and sexualities, in addition to social disadvantages.

Dr. Maria Armaou
Dr. Sudarshan Kottai
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.



  • DHIs acceptability
  • technology acceptance
  • acceptability of digital patient-reported outcome measures
  • social context
  • ethics
  • design and evaluation of DHIs
  • barriers and facilitators to user engagement
  • co-production
  • globalisation and mental healthcare

Published Papers (1 paper)

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11 pages, 2361 KiB  
Project Report
Patient and Clinician Experiences with Sharing Data Visualizations Integrated into Mental Health Treatment
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120648 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 512
Digital mental health tools can collect vast amounts of data, but little research has been conducted on the impact of visualizing and sharing these data with patients in a clinical setting. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted via a HIPAA compliant platform [...] Read more.
Digital mental health tools can collect vast amounts of data, but little research has been conducted on the impact of visualizing and sharing these data with patients in a clinical setting. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted via a HIPAA compliant platform with 10 patients and 5 clinicians in a digital mental health clinic about their experience with the integration of personal data visualizations into care. These interviews, spanning from April 2023 to July 2023, centered around the utility, meaningfulness, and clarity of the visualizations. The qualitative data were subsequently analyzed through an inductive approach for thematic analysis. Themes identified from patient interviews included the ability of visualizations to encourage reflection and action while also providing validation and motivation. Both clinicians and patients noted the importance of having an intermediary (digital navigator) to assist in interpreting the visualizations. The type of visualization preferred by patients varied from patient to patient. Overall, our findings highlight the value of utilizing visualizations in clinical care as a clear and effective way to communicate personal health data to patients and clinicians, suggesting the benefit of continued co-design with all parties. Full article
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