Efficacy of a transdiagnostic ecological momentary intervention for improving self-esteem (SELFIE) in youth exposed to childhood adversity: study protocol for a multi-center randomized controlled trial

M. Daemen, M.R. Postma, R. Lindauer, I. Hoes-van der Meulen, D. Nieman, P. Delespaul, J.J.F. Breedvelt, M. van der Gaag, W. Viechtbauer, K. Schruers, D. van den Berg, C. Bockting, T. van Amelsvoort, U. Reininghaus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Background: Targeting low self-esteem in youth exposed to childhood adversity is a promising strategy for preventing adult mental disorder, but psychological help remains difficult to access and accept for youth, calling for novel, youth-friendly approaches. Mobile Health (mHealth) and, most prominently, ecological momentary interventions (EMIs) provide a unique opportunity to deliver youth-friendly, personalized, real-time, guided self-help interventions. The aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy of a novel, accessible, transdiagnostic ecological momentary intervention for improving self-esteem ('SELFIE') in youth with prior exposure to childhood adversity.Methods/design: In a parallel-group, assessor-blind, multi-center randomized controlled trial, individuals aged 12-26 years with prior exposure to childhood adversity and low self-esteem will be randomly allocated to SELFIE in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) as the experimental condition or the control condition of TAU only, which will include access to all standard health care. SELFIE is a digital guided self-help intervention administered through a smartphone-based app to allow for interactive, personalized, real-time and real-world transfer of intervention components in individuals' daily lives, blended with three training sessions delivered by trained mental health professionals over a 6-week period. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, post-intervention, and 6-month follow-up by blinded assessors. The primary outcome will be the level of self-esteem as measured with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES).Discussion: The current study is the first to establish the efficacy of an EMI focusing on improving self-esteem transdiagnostically in youth exposed to childhood adversity. If this trial provides evidence on the efficacy of SELFIE, it has significant potential to contribute to minimizing the deleterious impact of childhood adversity and, thereby, preventing the development of mental disorder later in life.
Original languageEnglish
Article number641
Number of pages15
JournalTrials
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • SELFIE
  • Ecological momentary intervention
  • mHealth
  • Experience Sampling Method
  • Self-esteem
  • Childhood trauma
  • Childhood adversity
  • MENTAL-HEALTH-SERVICES
  • ULTRA-HIGH RISK
  • AGE-OF-ONSET
  • SEXUAL-ABUSE
  • PSYCHIATRIC-DISORDERS
  • PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
  • HIERARCHICAL TAXONOMY
  • PSYCHOPATHOLOGY HITOP
  • TRAUMA QUESTIONNAIRE
  • GLOBAL BURDEN

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