Developing an E-Platform for Monitoring Wellbeing in London Schools: Involving Young People in a Co-Design Process

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Background: The use of new technologies and methodologies in young people’s mental health research is needed to allow more frequent and reliable sampling. Mobile applications and e-platforms create exciting potential for the collection of large-scale cohort data, however there are various feasibility and ethical issues to consider. Consultation with young people is needed to inform the research agenda, and ensure these technologies are engaging, useful and safe. This article describes the process of Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) with a sample of young people in London, with the aim of i) informing the development of a mood-monitoring e-platform, and ii) providing feedback and advice for researchers developing web-based technologies in the mental health field.

Methods: A total of 26 young people were consulted across four advisory group sessions. All young people were students enrolled at one of the participating London based sixth form colleges, and voluntarily attended a workshop session. Audio recordings of the sessions were analysed using a theory driven thematic analysis framework.

Results: Young people were generally receptive to e-health technologies and valued the opportunity to collaborate throughout the development process. The advisory groups identified key considerations for future web-development work to encourage engagement and prolonged use, including, the promotion of trust and transparency, consideration of accessibility, provision of support, production of engaging and functional design, and acknowledgment of specific contextual influences surrounding young people’s wellbeing.

Conclusions: Involving young people in the development process of e-health technologies contributes to optimising the successful adoption and prolonged usage of new methodologies. The thematic map and informant examples can be used to guide researchers interested in developing web-based technologies in the mental health field and will be directly applicable to the development of a mood-monitoring e-platform.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch involvement and engagement
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Jul 2020


  • adolescent
  • mobile health
  • smartphones
  • mental health
  • mood
  • patient and public involvement
  • Co-design


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