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Computerised CBT for mental health problems

Henry W W Potts22 June 2009

Amy McKeown, a graduate of our MSc in Health Informatics course and soon to have a honorary appointment at CHIME, has had three conference presentations accepted recently. Amy’s Master’s thesis was a realist review on the use of computerised cognitive-behavioural therapy (CCBT) in the prevention of mental health problems. This included a case study on Xanthis, the CCBT product developed by her own company, Xanthis Ltd.

The research showed there to be a strong evidence base for CCBT as being effective in preventing and treating the early stages of stress, anxiety and depression. Amy’s work was recognised with a £1000 prize for the best health informatics dissertation at UCL, awarded by Dr Foster Intelligence. Amy and I are now disseminating the work further, with two presentations accepted at the First International E-Mental Health Summit 2009 in Amsterdam in October (“Realist literature review of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) for prevention and early intervention in anxiety and depression” and “Real world case studies of a preventative computerised cognitive behavioural (cCBT) package being used to support employees within large UK organisations”), and a third accepted at Medicine 2.0: Social Networking and Web 2.0 Applications in Medicine and Health in Toronto in September (“Computerised cognitive-behavioural therapy for prevention and early intervention in anxiety and depression: A case study of Xanthis”).

Dr Henry Potts

Videos of CHIME students

Henry W W Potts8 May 2009

CHIME recently assisted Connecting for Health in producing some videos about the day-to-day use of health informatics in the NHS. Interviews with six of our MSc students, PhD student Bridget Coleman, senior lecturer Jeannette Murphy and UCL Medical School Vice-Dean Prof. David Patterson can now be seen here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Explaining the underperformance of ethnic minority medical students

Henry W W Potts29 April 2009

A submission by Kath Woolf, Chris McManus and Jane Dacre at ACME, and Henry Potts at CHIME, has been accepted for the forthcoming AMEE 2009 conference in Málaga at the end of August. Dr Woolf’s work found that the lower performance of ethnic minority medical students could not be explained by differences in language, personality, study habits or having doctor parents.

Dr Henry Potts

Teaching in the Age of Wikipedia

Henry W W Potts29 April 2009

Dr Henry Potts has reviewed Robert Cummings’ Lazy Virtues: Teaching in the Age of Wikipedia for The Wikipedia Signpost, Wikipedia’s own community-written newspaper. (Cite as Potts HWW (2009). Review of Lazy Virtues: Teaching Writing in the Age of Wikipedia. The Wikipedia Signpost, 5(17).)

In the book, Cummings explores using Wikipedia for class assignments. He stresses the value of students writing for a real audience and presents a theoretical model for the process based on Benkler’s idea of commons-based peer production (CBPP). While welcoming Cummings’ contribution to this rapidly developing field, Potts also argues that Cummings’ book overlooks other useful theoretical models for understanding Wikipedia and student use of Wikipedia, in particular Lave & Wenger’s legitimate peripheral participation. Potts calls for an “integrative” socio-technical theory of Wikipedia, using a terminology introduced by de Vaujany (2005, Journal of Information Technology Impact, 5(1): 39-58).

Researching E-learning Summer School

Henry W W Potts1 April 2009

I’m currently doing the Researching E-learning Summer School module at UCL’s Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT). This is a 30-credit module within CALT’s MA in Education, consisting of five face-to-face days spread over several months, over which one carries out a small individual research project in e-learning. Monday 30th March was our last face-to-face day.

My project is on barriers students experience to creating and sharing material online. This is a common problem with online courses; medical schools seem to be developing a reputation as being particularly resistant to things like asynchronous forums and wikis. There was much discussion in class as to why that is, with speculation around the hierarchical nature of medicine and how the heavy workload promotes a strategic learning approach. Hopefully, I and my peers on the course will be getting our work published, so more on it then.

The Researching E-learning module and others are available to UCL staff, with UCL offering 60 credits free. Students can also take these modules as part of other qualifications in some situations.

Dr Henry Potts