Effective Technology

At the PROTECT Lab, we develop and evaluate Behavioral Health Technology interventions, with a focus on Internet and mobile (App) -based health interventions. The short-term and long-term efficacy of all interventions is evaluated extensively in randomized controlled trials.

In addition, we deal with indication issues, e.g. for which affected persons, under which conditions and on the basis of which theoretical mechanisms of action the interventions are effective, and how the usage of such interventions can be increased, in particular for previously underserved target groups.

Further research questions relate to the cost-effectiveness of such interventions.


Target Groups

The bandwidth of areas covered by interventions developed and evaluated by the PROTECT Lab in cooperation with national and international expertise includes:

  • Prevention of Depression
  • Stress Management
  • Resilience
  • Treatment of Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders
  • PTSD - Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Sexual Dysfunctions
  • Alcohol Misuse/Abuse
  • Relapse Prevention with Sexual Predators
  • Mental Health of University Students
  • Occupational Mental Health
  • Chronic Back Pain
  • Depression with comorbid somatic diseases like diabetes, chronic back pain, tumors, coronary heart disease

Together with our partners, we have evaluated these interventions in over 40 randomized controlled trials to assess the efficacy of internet- and mobile-based health trainings.


What is Behavioral Health Technology?

Behavioral Health Technology interventions are the use of new media, such as the Internet or Apps, to provide clinical and psychological interventions to promote mental and physical health, and to prevent and treat mental and physical disorders.

In contrast to disorder-related health websites on the Internet, not only knowledge about possible causes, symptoms and processes are provided. Rather, Behavioral Health Technology interventions, using evidence-based psychotherapeutic techniques, aim to trigger emotional and cognitive learning processes among patients, promote their generalization, and initiate and sustain behavioral changes in everyday life.


What are the Assets of Behavioral Health Technology?

  • Independence of time and place: the ubiquitous accessibility of Internet-based procedures makes it easy for people with reduced mobility or those in underserved regions to benefit from evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatment without having to accept longer commuting. Even professionals who are unable to take advantage of routine care during working times benefit from it.

  • Anonymity: despite growing attention and acceptance, mental health problems are still associated with a certain amount of shame and stigma. The anonymity of the Internet circumvents this obstacle in patients' help-seeking, thereby potentially offering the opportunity to reach subgroups of the overall population who would otherwise not make use of therapeutic treatment.

  • Low-threshold treatment: Internet-based procedures offer the opportunity to take advantage of low-threshold offers and can facilitate entry into further face-to-face treatment options.