Development of coaching support for LiveWell: A smartphone-based self-management intervention for bipolar disorder

Cynthia A. Dopke, Alyssa McBride, Pamela Babington, Geneva K. Jonathan, Tania Michaels, Chloe Ryan, Jennifer Duffecy, David C. Mohr, Evan H. Goulding*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Despite effective pharmacological treatment, bipolar disorder is a leading cause of disability due to recurrence of episodes, long episode durations, and persistence of interepisode symptoms. While adding psychotherapy to pharmacotherapy improves outcomes, the availability of adjunctive psychotherapy is limited. To extend the accessibility and functionality of psychotherapy for bipolar disorder, we developed LiveWell, a smartphone-based self-management intervention. Unfortunately, many mental health technology interventions suffer from high attrition rates, with users rapidly failing to maintain engagement with the intervention technology. Human support reduces this commonly observed engagement problem but does not consistently improve clinical and recovery outcomes. To facilitate ongoing efforts to develop human support for digital mental health technologies, this paper describes the design decisions, theoretical framework, content, mode, timing of delivery, and the training and supervision for coaching support of the LiveWell technology. This support includes clearly defined and structured roles that aim to encourage the use of the technology, self-management strategies, and communication with care providers. A clear division of labor is established between the coaching support roles and the intervention technology to allow lay personnel to serve as coaches and thereby maximize accessibility to the LiveWell intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere25810
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Adherence
  • Behavior change
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Human support
  • MHealth
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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