Introduction Adolescence is a key developmental period for the onset of mental illness. Healthy rhythms of sleep and activity are critical for mental wellbeing in young people. Yet getting healthy diurnal rhythms becomes challenging for teens, due to developmental changes and multiple social and technological factors modifiable risk factor. We addressed this relationship in a feasibility study by investigating sleep-wake patterns of teenagers and their mental health, wellbeing, and cognitive performance.
Methods 9 schools of the SHINE network in Scotland took part in the study. Pupils wore an actigraph for 3 weeks, allowing the collection of objective rest-activity data. During the 3 weeks, they filled in -twice a day- a brief ecological momentary assessment with mood questions on their mobile phone (EMAapp). At the beginning and at the end of this period, participants also completed a digital online survey with further questions about mental health, sleep, and wellbeing (pre- and post- questionnaire) and they performed a cognitive assessment (6 subtests) on the online platform TestMyBrain (TMB).
Results The feasibility study included two data acquisitions. In Winter (Feb-March 2021), during the lockdown, 8 schools took part for a total of 60 students, whereas, in Summer (May-June 2021), 3 schools took part for a total of 15 students.
Preliminary feasibility results are summarised in the table 1 below.
Discussion Overall, relatively good participation, especially during the lockdown. Compliance decreased from the pre- to the post- questionnaire session and within TMB itself. Only 2 people fully completed the study. 11% of the pupils had problem with the EMA app, as reflected in the average low entries. Regarding the actigraph, it was generally well tolerated (a few pupils complained having a rash at the end). Further actigraphy analyses are ongoing.
Funding MRC Engagement Award for Adolescent Mental Health.
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