+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Do Web-based Mental Health Literacy Interventions Improve the Mental Health Literacy of Adult Consumers? Results From a Systematic Review

Do Web-based Mental Health Literacy Interventions Improve the Mental Health Literacy of Adult Consumers? Results From a Systematic Review

Journal of Medical Internet Research 18(6): E165

Low levels of mental health literacy (MHL) have been identified as an important contributor to the mental health treatment gap. Interventions to improve MHL have used traditional media (eg, community talks, print media) and new platforms (eg, the Internet). Evaluations of interventions using conventional media show improvements in MHL improve community recognition of mental illness as well as knowledge, attitude, and intended behaviors toward people having mental illness. However, the potential of new media, such as the Internet, to enhance MHL has yet to be systematically evaluated. Study aims were twofold: (1) To systematically appraise the efficacy of Web-based interventions in improving MHL. (2) To establish if increases in MHL translated into improvement in individual health seeking and health outcomes as well as reductions in stigma toward people with mental illness. We conducted a systematic search and appraisal of all original research published between 2000 and 2015 that evaluated Web-based interventions to improve MHL. The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines were used to report findings. Fourteen studies were included: 10 randomized controlled trials and 4 quasi-experimental studies. Seven studies were conducted in Australia. A variety of Web-based interventions were identified ranging from linear, static websites to highly interactive interventions such as social media games. Some Web-based interventions were specifically designed for people living with mental illness whereas others were applicable to the general population. Interventions were more likely to be successful if they included "active ingredients" such as a structured program, were tailored to specific populations, delivered evidenced-based content, and promoted interactivity and experiential learning. Web-based interventions targeting MHL are more likely to be successful if they include active ingredients. Improvements in MHL see concomitant improvements in health outcomes, especially for individuals with mild to moderate depression. The most promising interventions suited to this cohort appear to be MoodGYM and BluePages, 2 interventions from Australia. However, the relationship between MHL and formal and informal help seeking is less clear; self-stigma appears to be an important mediator with results showing that despite improvements in MHL and community attitudes to mental illness, individuals with mental illness still seek help at relatively low rates. Overall, the Internet is a viable method to improve MHL. Future studies could explore how new technology interfaces (eg, mobile phones vs computers) can help improve MHL, mental health outcomes, and reduce stigma.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 1 workday: $29.90)

Accession: 057646977

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27323907

Related references

A Review of Hip Hop-Based Interventions for Health Literacy, Health Behaviors, and Mental Health. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 5(3): 468-484, 2018

Effectiveness of information and communication technologies interventions to increase mental health literacy: A systematic review. Early Intervention in Psychiatry 12(6): 1024-1037, 2018

Mental Health Literacy in Young Adults: Adaptation and Psychometric Properties of the Mental Health Literacy Questionnaire. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15(7):, 2018

The quality of mental health literacy measurement tools evaluating the stigma of mental illness: a systematic review. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences 27(5): 433-462, 2018

A systematic review of eHealth interventions to improve health literacy. Health Informatics Journal 22(2): 81-98, 2016

Interventions to improve health outcomes for patients with low literacy. A systematic review. Journal of General Internal Medicine 20(2): 185-192, 2005

The Mental Health Literacy Scale (MHLS): A new scale-based measure of mental health literacy. Psychiatry Research 229(1-2): 511-516, 2015

Complex interventions to improve the health of people with limited literacy: A systematic review. Patient Education and Counseling 75(3): 340-351, 2009

Correlation Between eHealth Literacy and Health Literacy Using the eHealth Literacy Scale and Real-Life Experiences in the Health Sector as a Proxy Measure of Functional Health Literacy: Cross-Sectional Web-Based Survey. Journal of Medical Internet Research 20(10): E281, 2018

Is It Possible to "Find Space for Mental Health" in Young People? Effectiveness of a School-Based Mental Health Literacy Promotion Program. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15(7):, 2018

Evaluating health literacy in people with mental illness using the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults. Nursing Outlook 60(5): 316-321, 2012

Limited evidence suggests mental health literacy interventions may improve help-seeking attitudes for depression, anxiety and general psychological distress. 2013

The mental health, emotional literacy, cognitive ability, literacy attainment and 'resilience' of 'looked after children': a multidimensional, multiple-rater population based study. British Journal of Clinical Psychology 52(2): 183-198, 2013

Improving the capacity of community-based workers in Australia to provide initial assistance to Iraqi refugees with mental health problems: an uncontrolled evaluation of a Mental Health Literacy Course. International Journal of Mental Health Systems 12: 2, 2018

Expanding a measure of mental health literacy: Development and validation of a multicomponent mental health literacy measure. Psychiatry Research 243: 278-286, 2016