Through this research, i-spero® – a secure and interactive digital platform – will be made available to students who screen positive for anxiety and depression during their care at Student Wellness Services to help them monitor their symptoms during the course of their regular treatment. This platform also offers functionalities that allow for monitoring progress through a care plan that can be shared with one’s care team. Participation in this research, aimed at evaluating the efficacy of this platform in student mental health care, is voluntary.
i-spero® is a web-based application that helps you monitor your symptoms during your course of care through a series of short electronic questionnaires at regular intervals. This helps you and your care provider monitor your personalized care plan, which may include guideline-supported health and wellbeing activities, talking therapies, and/or medication. You can follow your progress in terms of self-reported symptoms and share it with whomever you want – your family and friends, your doctor, or your therapist. i-spero® can send reminders to help you follow your personalized care plan and inform you and your care team if your symptoms change.
Participation in this study will not affect the standard of care you receive, however provides the opportunity to supplement regular treatment plans in accordance with pre-existing best practices. Students who do not wish to participate in the research component attached to i-spero® integration into their care are still able to use the i-spero® platform to track their symtpoms. We hope i-spero® will improve the quality of your patient experience and the efficiency of your care. The findings from this study will also help us better understand the mental health care needs of university students and how this affects academic success. This knowledge will help us to improve resources and services to support students moving forward.
Upon seeing a triage clinician at Queen’s Student Wellness Services, you may be asked if you would like to participate. If you decide to take part after reading the study’s Letter of Information, you will be guided on how to create an i-spero® account, sign-in, and provide consent to participate in the study. The triage clinician will also show you how to use i-spero® and review your own electronically self-reported information that you will be prompted to report via a brief questionnaire regarding your background and current mental health concerns. Upon reviewing this information, you will have an appointment set up with an i-spero®-trained clinician at Student Wellness Services best suited to help you with your clinical concerns. At this first clinical visit, a care plan will be developed based on best practice guidelines and created as an entry in i-spero®. Once created, you, your care team, and anyone you wish to provide access to can review your care plan and your self-entered electronic measures and symptom ratings in i-spero®.
U-Flourish has been continuously funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Rossy Family Foundation. We thank the following campus and community partners for providing FLEX credit and food incentives for the student engagement campaign: Queen's University's Division of Student Affairs and Domino's Pizza, respectively. We also thank all Queen's University Professors, Departments, and student groups that have supported the U-Flourish’s student engagement campaigns.
For the development of the Digital Well-Being Platform, Online Mental Health Course, and integration of digital resources into student care pathways at Student Wellness Services, we have received funding from the Mach-Gaensslen Foundation.