Attention for personalized interventions has increased rapidly in the past years. Several researchers have pointed towards using ESM as a possible tool for providing insight in daily life patterns of mood (Ebner-Priemer & Trull, 2009; Wichers et al., 2011). In my recent research in collaboration with colleagues from the Interdisciplinary Center Psychopathology and Emotion regulation at the University Medical Center Groningen (i.e., VICI project of Tineke Oldehinkel), we developed a tailor-made lifestyle advice for anhedonic young adults (N=69), based on 30 days of experience sampling data (3x per day).

Network analyses

The advice was based on results from network analyses (i.e., R Autovar package), in which we explored individual temporal patterns of lifestyle factors and experienced pleasure. After the first month, they were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) no intervention, (2) lifestyle advice, and (3) lifestyle advice and tandem skydive. To examine the effectiveness of the advice, the momentary questionnaire data (positive affect [PA]; pleasure, and negative affect [NA]) were analyzed using interrupted time series analyses (ITSA) in a multilevel model. The momentary data showed higher positive affect (PA) and pleasure ratings in the month following the intervention in the two intervention groups than in the control group. The skydive did not have an additional positive effect on participants (for more details on the tandem skydive, see the article).

Intervene when the need is high

These findings indicate that providing personalized lifestyle advice based on ESM to anhedonic young adults can be an effective way to increase PA and pleasure. Currently, I aim to extend these promising first results by creating an intervention in which we will intervene in the moment, when individuals report low levels of PA or high levels of NA. In this way, we will be able to intervene when the need is high.Reference: Van Roekel, E., Vrijen, C., Heininga, V. E., Masselink, M., Bos, E. H., & Oldehinkel, A. J. (2017). An exploratory randomized controlled trial of personalized lifestyle advice and tandem skydives as a means to reduce anhedonia. Behavior Therapy, 48(1), 76–96. Read article

Written by: Eeske van Roekel

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