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Rachael Donalds, PhD




Clinical Fellow




Psychology Intern and Clinical Fellow




Rachael A. Donalds, MPA, MS, PhD, Kathryn Bentley, PhD, Christopher G. AhnAllen, PhD*

A Novel Inpatient Psychiatry Digital Mental Health E-Literacy Group: A Patient-Centered Quality Measurement Initiative

The opportunity to participate in the 2022 Woman in Medicine and Science Symposium is incredibly important to learn from and model clinical innovation and mentorship across interdisciplinary sciences. Subsequent to graduating from Brown University and the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health, I designed Biosay, a CBT biometric mobile mental health application to assist in the management of anxiety and depression. To date, I have published articles ranging from the use of stem cell lines in the treatment of anxiety and depression to applying the biopsychosocial model in the assessment of resilience and socioemotional competency.


COVID-19 has rapidly increased the proliferation of and reliance on digital mental health (DMH) services, necessitating patient electronic literacy (e-literacy) to access evidence-based treatments. E-literacy groups are predictive of DMH use in outpatient clinics; however, we are unaware of e-literacy groups conducted in inpatient settings. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of a novel DMH adult inpatient e-literacy group.


Inpatients were invited to attend optional 1-hour weekly DMH group over 4-weeks. After each group, an anonymous voluntary survey was developed to assess the (a) perceived benefit of a DMH e-literacy inpatient group, and (b) interest, access, and use of mobile and web-based applications. Data collection is currently ongoing


The total sample (n = 19) was predominantly male (64.3%), White (42.0%), and middle to older age adults (51-69 years-old; 51%). Results indicated perceived benefit was higher in young to middle compared to older age adults. Reported interest, access, and use of DMH services was high, with no significant differences by age, race, or gender.


The development of adult inpatient e-literacy programming should consider a patient-centered approach that accounts for developmental differences. Future research should account for variability across diagnoses, socioeconomic, and education level.