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Introduction Although older adults are just as likely to benefit from e-mental health as their younger counterparts, there are virtually no applications specifically designed to accommodate the needs of older adults with recurrent depression or bipolar disorder. Recurrent mood disorders constitute a large and rising proportion of the global disease in older populations, indicating a need for more e-mental health applications targeting this group. This paper describes the theoretical background and methodology of a study examining the feasibility of a tablet-based self-management platform for older adults with recurrent mood disorders. The eCare@Home platform was designed to 1) improve patients' awareness and knowledge of recurrent mood disorders and their treatment, 2) promote self-management through the use of a simple daily monitoring tool, and 3) facilitate online contact with their clinician through videoconferencing. Methods The design involves a single-group four-month pilot study, with measurements at baseline (T0), and at weeks 8 and 16 (T1 and T2). The target group consists of older outpatients (aged 60 or above) who are undergoing treatment for recurrent depressive or bipolar disorder (N = 50), and their clinicians (N = 10). Primary feasibility endpoints will be system acceptability, system usability, and client satisfaction with the platform. In addition, qualitative data from semi-structured interviews in N = 10 patients and N = 5 clinicians will be gathered to provide more insight into user experiences and evaluations of the platform's added value. Discussion To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a tablet-based e-mental health platform for older adults with severe mood disorders. If tablet-based support for this group is shown to be feasible, the intention is to proceed with the design of a large-scale process and outcome evaluation. The strengths and limitations of the methodology used are addressed in this article. Trial Registration: registration is pending.
Schuurmans, J., van der Linden, J. L., van Ballegooijen, W., Ruwaard, J., Stek, M. L., Smit, J. H., & Riper, H. (2016). Tablet-based support for older adults with severe mood disorders treated in an ambulatory geriatric psychiatry setting: Protocol of a feasibility study of the eCare@Home platform. Internet Interventions, 6, 22–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2016.09.001