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MYLO Research Studies

Below are links to all published MYLO research papers, including preprints.

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2023

Manage Your Life Online (‘MYLO’): Co-design and case-series of an artificial therapist to support youth mental health

Full text available here: https://humanfactors.jmir.org/2023/1/e46849

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of child and adolescent mental health issues are rising faster than the number of services available, leading to a shortfall. Mental health chatbots are a highly scalable way to address this gap.

Objective: This study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a codesigned interface for an artificially intelligent chatbot that emulates Method of Levels therapy, a style of therapy that uses curious questioning to support sustained awareness and exploration of current problems in young people aged 16-24.

Methods: An iterative codesign phase occurred over 4 months, in which feedback was elicited from a group of young people with lived experience of mental health issues. This resulted in the development of a progressive web application version of MYLO that could be used on mobile phones. We then conducted a case-series of 13 young people over 2 weeks. During this time the participants tested MYLO and completed surveys including clinical outcomes and acceptability measures. We then conducted focus groups and interviews.

Results: Most participants were positive about their experience of using MYLO and would recommend MYLO to others. Participants enjoyed the simplicity of the interface, found it easy to use, and rated it as acceptable on the system usability scale. Inspection of the usage data found evidence that MYLO can learn and adapt its questioning in response to user inputs. We found a large effect size decrease in participants problem related distress and medium effect size increase in their ability to resolve conflicts (the proposed mechanism of change) over the testing phase. Some patients, also, experienced reliable change in their clinical outcome measures over the two-weeks.

Conclusions: We have established the feasibility and acceptability of MYLO, and the research design used. This suggests MYLO is working as it should and has potential to support young people’s mental health and help them to resolve their own problems. We aim to conduct a larger, longer trial to establish whether sustained improvements in problem-related distress and goal conflict resolution from talking to MYLO can lead to meaningful reductions in participants’ symptoms of depression and anxiety over time.

2020

Usability, Acceptability, and Effectiveness of Web-Based Conversational Agents to Facilitate Problem Solving in Older Adults: Controlled Study

Published in Journal of Medical Internet Research: https://www.jmir.org/2020/5/e16794/

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2020

Agents of change: Understanding the therapeutic processes associated with the helpfulness of therapy for mental health problems with relational agent MYLO

Published in Digital Health : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32206331/

2018

Manage Your Life Online: A web-based randomised controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of a problem solving intervention in a student sample

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Published in Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy  : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29366432/

2013

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Manage Your Life Online (MYLO): A Pilot Trial of a Conversational Computer-Based Intervention for Problem Solving in a Student Sample

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