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Digital applications in mental health care



In an era of modern technology, new and exciting opportunities to implement digital applications in mental health care are key to advancing the field of diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology in children and adolescents.

This course will provide students with insights in the associated opportunities, as well as challenges and limitations of digital applications that have been developed to promote child development and to diminish social, behavioral and emotional problems.

Students will learn about digital interventions (such as serious games, virtual reality, online parent training and computerized cognitive training) that are available for symptom remediation of neurodevelopmental conditions Decisions to implement such techniques should be based on scientific evidence supporting effectiveness, embedded in the knowledge we have about (atypical) brain development, characteristics of the target population and ways to change problematic behavior.

Considering the need to provide optimal and tailored healthcare for vulnerable children and adolescents, students will learn to critically evaluate developments in the field of digital interventions, analyze their effectiveness, consider ethical aspects and reflect on implementation in different clinical contexts and for different clinical conditions.

Course objectives

  • The student can reflect on the ethical aspects of digital developments in mental health care.

  • The student is able to identify the challenges and opportunities of developing and implementing digital interventions in mental health care.

  • The student can recognize the specific needs of several paediatric psychiatric populations regarding digital applications in mental health care.

  • The student is able to read, interpret and critically evaluate scientific publications on digital interventions for psychiatric populations.

  • The student is able to write a scientific paper and to orally present the results of research into digital interventions.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable

Method of instruction

There will be lectures.

Method of assessment

The final grade is based upon a written exam and an essay. The written exam consists of open questions (50%) and multiple choice questions (50%). The exam grade accounts for 55% of the final grade and the essay grade accounts for 45% of the final grade. The exam can be retaken once within the academic year in case of an insufficient exam grade.

The essay can be retaken once within the academic year in case of an insufficient essay grade. The final grade should be sufficient (5,5 or higher) to pass the course. Students can pass the course with an insufficient score for the exam or essay, as long as the final grade is sufficient.

Furthermore, students should give a presentation, which is evaluated individually (‘pass’/’fail’). In order to pass the course, the presentation should be evaluated as ‘pass’. The presentation can be retaken once within the academic year in case of a ‘fail’.

Students who have failed one or two components of the assessment (either the exam, essay or presentation), but passed the other component(s), can keep their sufficient components in the following academic year. This implies that students only need to retake the component(s) of the course in the next academic year that were evaluated as insufficient. If in the next academic year the missing component(s) is/are still insufficient, the student need to retake the course completely including the sufficient component.


During this course Brightspace will be used.

Reading list

Scientific publications, to be announced on Brightspace.


It is mandatory to register for each course via uSis. This applies to both the lectures and the working groups, even if they take place online. Without a valid registration in uSis you will not be able to participate in the course and you will not have access to the Brightspace module of the course.

In addition, it is also mandatory to register separately in uSis for each exam (i.e. both the first exam opportunity and, if necessary, the resit) in uSis. This also applies to partial examinations in a course. This is possible up to 10 calendar days prior to the exam. You cannot take the exam without a valid registration in uSis.

NB If the exam concerns a paper or a practical assignment, you do not need to register in uSis.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Contact information

The co-ordinator of this course is dr. Carlijn Bergwerff