Designing Effective and Ethical Online Systems for Mental Health

Reeva Lederman, Associate Professor, School of Computing and Information Systems, University of Melbourne
Chaired by
Dr FAIK, Isam, Assistant Professor, School of Computing

  22 Jun 2018 Friday, 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

 Executive Classroom, COM2-04-02


The increasing recognition of youth mental health problems has led to a demand for expanded services which has put pressure on face-to-face psychology providers. This has given rise to a growth in online mental health applications. These are often offered by commercial providers with no evidence base, raising questions of how to best offer online psychological support by public providers, researchers and psychologists. This previous exploration has not fully dealt with the ethical issues surrounding the use of online therapies. The questions for this presentation are:
1. How can we design effective online mental health applications?
2. How can we satisfy the ethical questions asked in conventional psychological practice and what new questions arise in the online environment?
I will describe the design process for the systems we have developed and raise a number of ethical issues. I will discuss how they have been responded to in the design and development of an online service for young people at risk of relapse from depression. While previous work has explored some of these issues, the unique contribution of this work is in showing how they can be addressed in a concrete way in an evidence-based application.


Reeva Lederman is an Associate Professor in the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne and has been a faculty member since 2000. She leads the research area "People and Information" and co-ordinates the Computational Bioinformatics and Health Information Systems Research Group. She is an active member of the international Health Information Systems research community. In 2012 she was awarded the prestigious Stafford Beer Medal for IS Research and in 2014 she won the Melbourne School of Engineering annual teaching award for Teaching Excellence. Dr Lederman has published in top journals such as EJIS and ToCHI and is a senior editor for HPT. Dr Lederman has chaired the health IS track at the European Conference in Information Systems in 2017 and 2018 and will chair the Health IS track at ICIS in 2018.