In This Issue

The president's message

Updates on mentoring and promotions of eHealth interventions.

By Michael A. Rapoff, PhD

I am ready to roll up my sleeves…I think.

Well, here I am writing my first presidential message and looking forward to this coming year working with our competent and talented officers and board. I am so lucky to have Karen Roberts nudging me along as our skilled administrative officer and to have the wisdom and guidance of our Past President Tonya Palermo and President Elect Tim Wysocki. Tonya will be a hard act to follow. With her endless energy, she has provided excellent presidential leadership over the past year. I am glad that I have Tonya and Tim to watch my back and not let me stray too far.

Mentoring and eHealth interventions

In my candidate statement, I mentioned two priorities for my presidential year: mentoring and promotion of e-health interventions. The Division 54 Mentoring Program began in 2004 as a presidential initiative by Mary Jo Kupst. A workshop was conducted and participants were selected from trainees/early career, mid-career, and senior psychologists.

Since then, over 400 Division 54 members have contributed to this program with the numbers continuing to grow. Mentoring is now regarded as a membership benefit. Coordination of the mentoring program has been in the capable hands of Sharon Berry since its inception. I will ask Sharon to work with me to find ways to further enhance the program and make it more visible for our members online.

eHealth interventions have been defined as “applications of technology that seek to either improve a client’s understanding of health information or use technology as a surrogate for the clinician in treatment delivery.” (Cushing & Steele, 2010, p. 937) I have asked Eve-Lynn Nelson and Lee Ritterband to be coleaders of a task force with its purpose being to encourage the development, validation, and dissemination of eHealth interventions in pediatric psychology. I am grateful to Eve-Lynn and Lee for accepting co-leadership roles, and they plan to have their team in place by January, 2013. Eve-Lynn is an accomplished researcher in telemedicine and Lee is a principal investigator on NIH-funded e-health intervention studies.

Specific objectives for the task force are:

  1. Review the state of the science on eHealth interventions in pediatric psychology and make recommendations for future research (updates since the Cushing & Steele, 2010 meta-analysis and Stinson et al., 2009 systematic review).
  2. Determine potential funding sources for eHealth interventions (NIH, industry, foundations, etc.).
  3. Review strategies for collaborating with information technology companies to develop and dissemination eHealth interventions.
  4. Describe strategies for furthering collaborations in eHealth intervention studies among Division 54 members, e.g., working with SIG chairs, including encouraging the involvement of members who have not yet done e-health interventions.
  5. Suggest ways to collaborate with other organizations interested in eHealth interventions such as APA Divisions 38 (Health Psychology) and 53 (Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology) and the International Society for Research on Internet Interventions (www.isrii.org).

Anticipated outcomes would be for the task force report to be published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology summarizing information relevant to each of the five objectives, increased collaborations between members in eHealth intervention studies (monitored through activities of the SIGs), possibly a new SIG on eHealth, and the sharing of links to eHealth interventions/ studies on our SPP website.

I know this sounds a little schmaltzy, but for me, it really is a distinct honor to serve as your president. So many competent people have served in this capacity, and I hope I can uphold their legacy. Please feel free to send me an email any time you have a question, suggestion, or even a critique.

References

Cushing, C.C. & Steele, R.G. (2010). A meta-analytic review of eHealth interventions for pediatric health promoting and maintaining behaviors. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, 937-949.

Stinson, J., Wilson, R., Gill, N., Yamada, J., & Holt, J. (2009). A systematic review of internet-based self-management interventions for youth with health conditions. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 34, 495-510.

About the author

Michael A. Rapoff, PhD is the Ralph L. Smith Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he teaches, does research, advises graduate students, sees patients one day a week, and mentors junior colleagues.