A diary is a collection of questions that can be presented to the client as a recurring task. So, a diary is a great tool for registering events and discovering trends in these registrations. For any intervention wherein the BCT feedback and monitoring is important creating a diary can be a good choice.
How can a diary be used?
The client can add a new entry to their diary at any given point (and in fact register more often than a task is presented). The Minddistrict diaries are accessible for a client via a desktop (in a browser), tablet or smartphone (in a browser or via the Minddistrict app). Especially the app-version is a convenient tool because it allows the client to register an event, emotion or thought while being in the moment, or shortly after, as a smartphone is always with you. So, the diary function is a great opportunity to let your intervention take place in the daily life of the client.
When does a client have access to a diary?
A diary can be activated through different routes:
- By the therapist
- By the client through the self-help catalogue (only when the diary is marked as self-help)
- Triggered by another piece of content (e.g. a module)
A client can have multiple diaries at the same time.
What can users get out of a diary?
The most important things users get out of a diary are: insight into behaviour, feelings and thoughts (mostly from the graphs) and an overview of pasted events/moments (mainly in the timeline).
Insight into behaviour, feelings and thoughts
One of the main goals in mental healthcare and psychological therapy is for the client and the therapist to gain insight. Insight in behaviour, feelings and thoughts. Insight helps to analyse and understand problems and eventually overcome them. A diary for registering behaviour, feelings or thoughts is a great tool for this. A diary can be used in several ways to help gain insight. You can think of:
- Gathering data to analyse behaviour, feelings or thoughts.
- Monitoring behaviour, feelings or thoughts to see change during therapy
- Giving feedback on behaviour and the process of behaviour change.
The most relevant information from a diary entry is shown on the clients' timeline. A client and the therapist can scroll through the timeline to get a sense of how the client is doing, or what he has been up to, of course depending on the specific diary. All entries from all diaries are shown on the timeline, so different diary entries can be seen in one overview. For the therapist and the client the timeline views are displayed the same.
As an editor, you decide which fields of your diary are interesting enough to be shown in the timeline. How to do this is explained in the paragraph 'How to fill out the different diary-fields'.
From the graphs it is possible to see progress in a single view. Great for gaining insight! As an intervention developer it is important to think carefully about which variables you want to show in a graph, and what the best visual output is. As up to now, there are 3 types of graphs possible.