Assessing the Critical Parameters of eSMART-MH: A Promising Avatar-Based Digital Therapeutic Intervention to Reduce Depressive Symptoms

Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2016 Jul;52(3):157-68. doi: 10.1111/ppc.12112. Epub 2015 Mar 19.


Purpose: To assess, from the young adults' (YAs') perspectives, the critical parameters (necessity, acceptability, feasibility, fidelity, and safety) of an avatar-based intervention, eSMART-MH, to reduce depressive symptoms.

Design and methods: YAs (n = 60) were randomly assigned to eSMART-MH or control and observed for 12 weeks. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected.

Findings: Necessity, acceptability, fidelity, and safety of eSMART-MH were supported. Feasibility results were mixed. When benchmarked against usual care, eSMART-MH demonstrated greater feasibility.

Practice implications: eSMART-MH is a promising digital therapeutic for depressive symptoms. Feasibility can be strengthened through "on the go" access via mobile devices and Internet delivery.

Keywords: Avatar; depression; eHealth.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Report
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • United States
  • Young Adult