6. July 2023

Alena Slezáčková

Alena Slezackova

A Life Worth Living: Nurturing Well-Being in Cancer Patients through Online Positive Psychology Interventions


The development and availability of information and communication technologies and the increasing technology literacy of the population bring unprecedented possibilities for implementing e-health interventions supporting patients' mental health and well-being across diagnoses and medical fields.
This lecture will discuss the theoretical background for creating online positive psychology interventions in the clinical field and provide an overview of verified online positive psychology programs for patients with chronic illness. We will also outline the possibilities of using online psychosocial interventions to promote mental well-being and psychological resilience in formal and informal caregivers.
Additionally, we will share our experience with creating and implementing the MOU MindCare application for oncology patients using positive psychology interventions, mindfulness, and relaxation methods. The effectiveness of the program is being investigated in a randomized controlled trial. Experience so far shows that introducing a mobile application into the context of standard clinical practice and its effective use requires a comprehensive approach that considers both technological and clinical, social and ethical aspects. Close cooperation with a broad spectrum of medical and non-medical professionals can help overcome many challenges that affect patients' acceptance of the program and willingness to enter the study. The first results show not only the level of effectiveness of the program but also indicate which factors increase adherence to the e-health program and which, on the contrary, increase the risk of dropout. The analysis of patients' feedback on the program shows how satisfied they were with the content, which interventions they rated as the most useful, and whether completing the program brought any specific benefits and positive effects to their lives.
Overall, it shows that mobile applications to support the mental well-being of patients have a high potential for delivering psychological interventions to many patients and strengthening their active participation in their mental and physical health care.

(This work was supported by the program project of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic with reg. No. NU22-09-00056, and by Specific Research of Masaryk University, project No. MUNI/A/1319/2022).

About Alena Slezackova

Alena Slezackova, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. Her scientific interests include mental health, hope, and mindfulness. Currently, she is involved in several projects using online positive psychology interventions designed to improve the well-being of cancer patients, caregivers, and other employees. She is a certified Resilience Practitioner, a founder and director of the Czech Positive Psychology Centre (CPPC), a member of the Advisory Council of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), a member of the boards of the European Network for Positive Psychology (ENPP) and the Mindfulness Research and Practice Network (MRPN) at Masaryk University. Alena is a member of several international research projects, the author of the first comprehensive monograph on positive psychology in the Czech language, and many publications in positive psychology and health psychology.