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JMIR Res Protoc. 2014 Jan 6;3(1):e3. doi: 10.2196/resprot.2855.

Use and Appreciation of a Web-Based, Tailored Intervention (E-health4Uth) Combined With Counseling to Promote Adolescents' Health in Preventive Youth Health Care: Survey and Log-File Analysis.

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1
Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Department of Public Health, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Health promotion for adolescents is important in the prevention of mental health problems and health-risk behaviors. We implemented two interventions in a preventive youth health care setting. Adolescents in the E-health4Uth group received Web-based, tailored messages on their health behavior and well-being. Adolescents in the E-health4Uth and counseling group received the same tailored messages, but were subsequently referred to a school nurse for a consultation if they were at risk of mental health problems.

OBJECTIVE:

This study evaluated the use and appreciation of these Web-based, tailored messages and additional consultation with a school nurse. Differences in use and appreciation according to demographics (ie, gender, level of education, and ethnicity) of the adolescents were also assessed.

METHODS:

Two youth health care organizations participated in this study and conducted the interventions in 12 secondary schools. In total, 1702 adolescents participated; 533 in the E-health4Uth group, 554 in the E-health4Uth and counseling group, and 615 in the control group (ie, care as usual). Adolescents completed an evaluation questionnaire assessing the use and appreciation of the tailored messages immediately after receiving these messages and at a 4-month follow-up. After the consultation, adolescents and nurses completed an evaluation questionnaire on the use and appreciation of the consultation.

RESULTS:

The majority of the adolescents (845/1034, 81.72%) indicated they had read the tailored messages. Most items on the use and appreciation of the tailored messages and the program were scored positive (overall satisfaction on a scale from 1, most-negative, to 10, most-positive: mean 6.70, SD 1.60). In general, adolescents in vocational training, girls, and adolescents of non-Dutch ethnicity, indicated they used the tailored messages more often and appreciated the content of the messages better than adolescents receiving preuniversity education, boys, and adolescents of Dutch ethnicity, respectively (all P<.05). In the E-health4Uth and counseling group, 18.6% (103/553) of the adolescents were referred to a nurse. Adolescents in vocational training and girls were more often referred to a nurse than adolescents receiving preuniversity education (P=.007) and boys (P=.03), respectively. Adolescents and nurses positively evaluated the consultation (overall satisfaction of adolescents: mean 8.07, SD 1.21). Adolescents in vocational training attended the consultation more often (P=.047) and considered the consultation a more valuable addition to the tailored messages than adolescents receiving preuniversity education (P=.034).

CONCLUSIONS:

The Web-based, tailored messages and additional consultation were used and appreciated positively by adolescents and nurses. The consultation seems a valuable addition to the tailored messages. However, the tailored messages might need further improvement since adolescents did not rate all evaluation items about these messages explicitly positive. As these interventions were already interweaved with the existing practice of the preventive youth health care, they are especially promising for future implementation.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Netherlands Trial Register Number (NTR): NTR3596; http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/admin/rctview.asp?TC=3596 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6LryL42zH).

KEYWORDS:

Internet; Web-based tailoring; adolescents; counseling; eHealth; health care evaluation; health promotion; youth health care

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