NiceDay Black Box Validation
Jun 2020 - Dec 2021
Depression and anxiety disorders are common and carry an enormous burden of disease. Traditional care for these diseases consists of individual or group treatment with evidence-based protocols (i.e. cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), and interpersonal therapy (IPT) mainly). Online treatment using a combination of videoconferencing, chat and registrations (i.e. ecological momentary assessment (EMA)) allows closer monitoring of patients, need-driven care and engaging of patients in the context their symptoms and problems. As such, online treatment might lead to a better improvement in symptoms, a shorter treatment duration and, consequently, lower costs.
The NiceDayWay online treatment consists of integration of evidence-based treatment protocols for depression and anxiety disorders and possibilities of online synchronous and asynchronous therapeutic communication with regards to registrations (EMA and associated EMA-based interventions). The NiceDayWay online treatment has already been implemented in multiple health organizations and is currently used to treat patients with depressive or anxiety disorders. Previous studies have shown positive results regarding the online treatment of patients with depressive or anxiety disorders. However, the effect of the NiceDayWay online treatment with regard to symptoms, treatment duration and costs, has not been evaluated yet.
The ALBA project main goal is to provide a bird's-eye view of the NiceDay service from a validation standpoint. It will allow us to prove our business case, compare the service against traditional mental healthcare, and set the path for establishing a systematic scientific research methodology.
In order to achieve this, we start with a high-level overview of our digital treatment service and consider it as a black box, which means that it can be modeled in terms of its inputs and outputs without having fully detailed knowledge of its internal workings. This strategy will allow us to benchmark the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the NiceDayWay online treatment for patients with a depressive or anxiety disorder against traditional care, deliver performance indicators regarding efficiency, outcome and client opinion, and define context variables outside the black box required for a proper service assessment (e.g. waiting times, treatment diagnosis, and duration).