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A Feasibility Trial of Power Up: Smartphone App to Support Patient Activation and Shared Decision Making for Mental Health in Young People

Edbrooke-Childs, Julian; Edridge, Chloe; Averill, Phoebe; Delane, Louise; Hollis, Chris; Carven, Michael; Martin, Kate; Feltham, Amy; Jeremy, Grace; Deighton, Jessica; Wolpert, Miranda


Julian Edbrooke-Childs

Chloe Edridge

Phoebe Averill

Louise Delane

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Digital Mental Health

Kate Martin

Amy Feltham

Grace Jeremy

Jessica Deighton

Miranda Wolpert


Background: Digital tools have the potential to support patient activation and shared decision making in the face of increasing levels of mental health problems in young people. There is a need for feasibility trials of digital interventions to determine the usage and acceptability of interventions. In addition, there is a need to determine the ability to recruit and retain research participants to plan rigorous effectiveness trials and therefore, develop evidence-based recommendations for practice.
Objective: To determine the feasibility of undertaking a cluster randomized control trial to test the effectiveness of a smartphone app, Power Up, co-designed with young people to support patient activation and shared decision making for mental health.
Methods: Overall, 270 young people were screened for participation and 53% (N = 142) were recruited and completed baseline measures across eight specialist child mental health services (n = 62, mean (SD) age = 14.66 (1.99) years, 52% female) and two mainstream secondary schools (n = 80; mean (SD) age = 16.88 (0.68) years, 46% female). Young people received Power Up in addition to management as usual or received management as usual only. Post-trial interviews were conducted with 11 young people from the intervention arms (specialist services n = 6; schools n = 5).
Results: Usage data showed that there were an estimated 50 (out of 64) users of Power Up in the intervention arms. Findings from the interviews indicated that young people found Power Up to be acceptable. Young people reported: 1) their motivation for use of Power Up, 2) the impact of use, and 3) barriers to use. Out of the 142 recruited participants, 45% (64/142) completed follow up measures, and the approaches to increase retention agreed by the steering group are discussed.
Conclusions: The findings of the present research indicate that the app is acceptable and it is feasible to examine the effectiveness of Power Up in a prospective cluster randomized control trial.


Edbrooke-Childs, J., Edridge, C., Averill, P., Delane, L., Hollis, C., Carven, M., …Wolpert, M. (2019). A Feasibility Trial of Power Up: Smartphone App to Support Patient Activation and Shared Decision Making for Mental Health in Young People. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 7(6), Article e11677.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 24, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 4, 2019
Publication Date Jun 4, 2019
Deposit Date Dec 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 3, 2018
Journal JMIR mHealth and uHealth
Electronic ISSN 2291-5222
Publisher JMIR Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 6
Article Number e11677
Public URL
Publisher URL


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