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Archive for the 'Sustainability' Category

An Unexpected Mental Health Resource: Digital Social Networks

By Carmen E Lefevre, on 1 February 2017

By: Dr. Felix S. Hussenoeder, researcher – psychologist – social marketer


While there is lots of talk about addiction, hate speech or stalking, positive health effects of social network sites (SNSs) are rarely discussed. However, there is a great – and largely untapped– potential of SNSs like facebook to promote mental health. In the following paragraphs, I will outline what makes digital networks so special, how they may help to reduce stress and related problems and what digital health professionals can contribute.


Using digital data to drive behaviour change in local communities

By Carmen E Lefevre, on 25 January 2017

By Katy Cooper, consultant – and former assistant director, C3 Collaborating for Health


The places where we live, learn, work and play are known to have a profound impact on our long-term health. However, it is not always easy to assess just how conducive to good health a neighbourhood is, and it is even harder to know what to do to make it healthier. This is not simply about personal behaviour change: the council, town planners, health professionals, restauranteurs or shop owners all have significant influence over our everyday decisions – and can hugely help (or hinder) the healthy (or unhealthy) choices we make. This could be developing new cycle infrastructure, placing a bench in a local park, putting nuts and fruit by the till instead of chocolate, or adding salad options to a café menu.


Attrition in digital behavioral research: Divided we fail…

By Carmen E Lefevre, on 19 January 2017

by Evangelia E. Ntzani, MD, PhD; University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Greece & CESH@Brown, RI, USA


Modification of health-related behaviors has proved to be a challenging target for public health interventions with more than 8,000 published studies cited in PubMed for physical activity and healthy diet alone and with no single intervention consistently winning the race so far.

A few years ago, sixteen partners representing major stakeholder groups formed the Credits 4 Health Consortium (C4H) aiming at creating and critically appraising a system effective in engaging, nurturing and keeping people committed in the adoption of personalized wellness paths and healthy life-styles. Physical activity and Mediterranean diet were the primary targets and, at the same time, the intervention platform had unique motivation-enhancing elements. (more…)

Digital Health or Digital Hell?

By Carmen E Lefevre, on 10 January 2017

By Dr Julia Bailey

Background There has been an explosion of interest in digital health, with some grand claims about the potential to save lives and save money. Despite the high hopes, only a tiny minority of available health websites and apps have been rigorously evaluated for effectiveness and safety. Whilst digital interventions for health are very popular, we need to check that they do not inadvertently cause harm.