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Cite as: Rossouw, J. G., Erieau, C. L., & Beeson, E. T. (2019). Building resilience through a virtual coach called Driven: Longitudinal pilot study and the neuroscience of small, frequent learning tasks. International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy, 7(2), 23–41. doi:10.12744/ijnpt.2019.023-041


Building Resilience Through a Virtual Coach Called Driven: Longitudinal Pilot Study and the Neuroscience of Small, Frequent Learning Tasks

Jurie G. Rossouw, Chelsea L. Erieau, and Eric T. Beeson

 

Abstract

Background
Digital interventions hold promise to address the global decline in mental health. Resilience is indicated as an avenue to enact preventative care. Combining resilience enhancement with a neuroscience-based learning technique may attenuate current trends.

Objective
This study sets out the neurobiological mechanics of small, micro-session learning (microtasks), and tested their efficacy in building resilience capacity through a digital conversive program called Driven to create lasting behavioral change.

Methods
Using the foundations of the microtask approach, Driven was constructed as an automated intervention to improve resilience capacity, based on the PR6 resilience framework. Real-world data from a sub-clinical cohort (N=387) across four organizations were analysed using the PR6 resilience psychometric to assess resilience pre and post intervention. Usage rates of Driven and other factors were investigated through regression analyses as predictors of future resilience capacity improvement.

Results
Of the invited cohort, 89% (N=345/387) participated and were mostly male (74.5%, n=257/345). Median time between first and second PR6 assessment was 199 days. Of these participants, 70.4% (n=245/345) completed the second assessment. The average individual improvement in resilience was 10.9% for the remeasured cohort (n=245). Results showed higher daily usage of Driven resulted in greater resilience improvements, with usage of more than once every four days resulting in a 15.6% improvement, and average usage once every two days resulting in a 24.9% improvement. Low or no usage of Driven showed no significant improvement. Further, a lower pre-intervention score resulted in higher participation and higher subsequent improvement.

Conclusion
Delivering microtasks through a digital virtual coaching approach presents a reliable method to achieve lasting behavioral change and improve resilience capacity. Additionally, Driven displays an ability to provide effective preventative intervention to those with greater need.

 


Acknowledgements
The author would like to thank guest peer reviewer Davinia Glendenning.


 

Author Note
Jurie Rossouw is a director of Hello Driven Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia. Chelsea Erieau is a research and development technician at Hello Driven Pty Ltd. Dr. Eric Beeson is a faculty member of the Family Institute at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jurie Rossouw. Email: jurie@hellodriven.com