Our friends at the Black Dog Institute are running an online trial for young Australians with T1D. Associate Professor Judy Proudfoot explains the trial, and how you can get involved.

My experience is in the design, development and evaluation of digital programs for improving mental health and wellbeing. As the Head of eHealth at the Black Dog Institute, I am drawing on this experience to oversee design and evaluation of a new online mental health program for young adults with type 1 diabetes.


Left to right:  A/Professor Judy Proudfoot, Dr Veronica Vatiliotis, Janine Clarke

The Feeling In Charge of Diabetes Online (FIDO) project is the first to examine whether web and mobile phone-based self-help programs can provide emotional support to and improve mental well-being young Australians with type 1 diabetes, aged between 16 to 25 years old.

Many young people find that dealing with the daily demands that come from having type 1 diabetes can be stressful, and research shows that that mental health issues are a bigger concern for young people with type 1 diabetes than those who don’t have the disease.  Unfortunately many young people do not seek any help because they don’t know where to turn.

The use of technology for delivering mental health support has been shown to be highly effective and is especially relevant for young people.  Our trial will compare the effectiveness of two web-based programs for helping young people with T1D to feel more in control of their lives and function more effectively.

To take part, all you need is an email address, a smartphone, and access to a computer or a tablet with an Internet connection. While there is no cost to use either of the online programs we are testing, there may be small data charges from your Internet provider to access the website.

To take part, you can sign up online.  You will be asked some questions to see whether the trial is suitable for you and, if yes, you will then use one of two programs for seven weeks – whenever and wherever you like.   You will also be asked to fill in brief questionnaires before and after finishing the program, and again three months and 12 months after you finish.  The trial is being conducted completely online, so you don’t need to go anywhere or see anyone.

An important part of any clinical trials is reporting back the findings to the community so that they may inform future projects and improve day-to-day treatments.  We want people to know that we’re committed to feeding back our results to participants and the larger T1D community through JDRF and other diabetes organisations. Results will also be published in scientific journals.

I encourage everyone to learn more about the FIDO project, and the other mental health assistance offered by the Black Dog Institute.

JDRF encourages young adults with type 1 diabetes aged between 16-25 years old to consider participating in this online trial. Contact the Black Dog Institute for more information!



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