Our existing resilience interventions should be modified into a digital training programme to improve the well-being and resilience of university students. The objective of the training is to help students from the partner universities to develop self-sustaining strategies for resilience based on research in positive psychology.
The evaluation of the digital resilience training programme will be done through a randomised controlled trial (RCT) experimental design. Measurements of well-being and resilience, mental health, etc. will be taken before, directly at the end of the last training session, and three months after the training with online questionnaires. A waitlist control group will act as a comparison group.
The project team consists of psychological researchers from Germany, Sweden, France and the UK. All are involved in the planning of the study, the development of the digital learning platform and the questionnaires, the recruitment, data collection, analysis and writing process. In addition, Andre Ndobo will be responsible for the project administration including the management of the team and the assistant.
Purpose and Significance
Many university students have experienced isolation, loneliness, and uncertainty about the future as well as missing campus life in general in the last two pandemic years. Mental health levels of university students during the COVID-19 pandemic decreased. Therefore, the training will be tailored to the challenges of students.
In accordance with EUniWell’s core mission to understand, improve, measure, and rebalance the well-being of individuals, our intervention training aims to do this as an action-oriented approach. We are tackling the challenges connected to health and societal frustrations caused by the pandemic situation. By implementing a digital platform for long-term usage to improve resilience, we support the thematic areas 1 ("maintaining or improving health & well-being") and 2 ("how well-being can be institutionalized and enhanced for students, university staff etc.").
Implementation Method and Timeline
The resilience intervention will consist of self-paced exercises (video-based learning course) as well as live video conferencing sessions (with group exercises and panel discussions in a virtual classroom setting). The training will consist of four consecutive weeks, each with a duration of three hours. Topics include, e.g. exercises to strengthen self-efficacy, stress reduction, emotion regulation skills, optimism, social communication, and self-acceptance. Robust treatment methods from the resilience literature have been included as well as newly developed exercises. Most likely, the resilience training increases the well-being and resilience level of the participants permanently, which was already possible in two former training interventions with volunteer participants.
- Sept. - Nov. 2022: Literature review; creation and translation of a training manual and slides; development of the digital platform; adaptation and translation of scales and measures; obtain the ethical review; recruitment of research assistant.
- Dec. - Feb. 2023: Interact with partnering universities; create a recruitment website and marketing materials; recruit participants; delivering training sessions; create the training videos and upload the to a platform; set up an online questionnaire.
- March - May 2023: Interact via mail with all participants; data collection; delivering training sessions.
- June - Aug. 2023: Data collection; send participant payments; statistical analysis and writing the report.
Improvements are expected in psychological and health indicators (e.g. well-being, resilience, mental health) in comparison to control groups. A former study in 2021 showed significant effects in various measures regarding improvements of resilience and well-being, see Kreienkamp, M., et al. (2022).