A body of literature suggests that the provision of human support improves both adherence to and clinical outcomes for digital mental health interventions. While multiple models of providing human support, or coaching, to support digital mental health interventions have been introduced, specific guidance on how to develop coaching protocols has been lacking. In this Education Piece, we provide guidance on developing coaching protocols for text-based communication in digital mental health interventions. Researchers and practitioners who are tasked with developing coaching protocols are prompted to consider the scope of coaching for the intervention, the selection and training of coaches, specific coaching techniques, how to structure communication with clients and how to monitor adherence to guidelines, and quality of coaching. Our goal is to advance thinking about the provision of human support in digital mental health interventions to inform stronger, more engaging, and effective intervention designs.
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- digital health
- behavior change