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Dr. Derek Richards

Visiting Research Fellow (Psychology)

Derek completed his PhD in psychology at Trinity College Dublin under the supervision of Ladislav Timulak. His PhD work built on his pioneering efforts to use technology in mental health and wellbeing that begun in early 2000's where at that time he began developing his ideas about how to usefully engage emerging technologies to support healthcare delivery, but in particular mental health and wellbeing. To begin with, he built the first online mental health community in Ireland for students at TCD. The service was developed and launched and was used widely among students at TCD. The service provided to students access to a wide range of mental health and wellbeing information, a peer support moderated forum to discuss mental health and wellbeing and also online asynchronous counselling. Students could write a submission to the counselling staff, it was reviewed and a personal reply drafted and sent to the individual, the message was stripped of any identifying information and later posted with the reply to the online community; thereby acting as a psychoeducation for the entire registered community. Post-PHD, Dr Richards spend time as a post-doc at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), working with Professor Geogrina Cardenes-Lopez at the cyberpsychology lab where he was collaborating on a number of projects at the lab, including a rollout of an online intervention for depression in Mexico. After 8 months at UNAM Dr Richards took a faculty position as Assistant Professor of research at the University Narino, Bogota, Colombia (April 2011-September 2012). This was a unique position with a brief of helping to establish a research agenda for the faculty of psychology. At this time Dr Richards engaged in securing funding from the University for research in the epidemiology of depression and plans for researching an online intervention. He also supervised a number of master's theses. On returning to Ireland in September 2012, Dr Richards began working closely with the SilverCloud team, eventually taking the decision to move fulltime to the commercial outfit in September 2013 as Director of Clinical Research and Innovation and later Chief Science Officer, his current position. He also retained his contact with academia, at first as a Research Fellow and now as a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin where he is a Co-Director of E-Mental Health Research Group. In the intervening years Dr Richards has designed and executed a number of trials of online interventions for mental health and wellbeing
  ANXIETY   Behavior and Health   Clinical psychology   Culture and health   Depression   Emotional/Mental Health   Emotional/Mental Health--Minorities   Health Care   Health, Clinical and Counselling   Health/Medical Science--Computer Technology   Men's Health   Mental Disorders   Mental Health Services   ONLINE MENTAL HEALTH   ONLINE SYSTEMS   Philosophy of science   Psychiatry   Psychoanalysis   Psychotherapy   TECHNOLOGY AND MENTAL HEALTH   Technology Assessment/Transfer/Outreach (Hlth   Telemedicine   Therapy Evaluation
 Feasibility, Acceptability and Satisfaction with Internet-delivered Treatment for Depression, Anxiety and Stress in Students: An Open Feasibility Trial (Minnesota)
 Low-intensity internet-delivered treatment for adults with depressive symptoms in Colombia - South America
 Internet-delivered treatment: Its potential as a low-intensity community intervention for adults with symptoms of depression [with Aware Charity]
 Development of an online platform to support self-management of symptoms and promote wellbeing of people with coronary heart disease and associated long-term conditions (LTCs) [with Kings College London]
 Internet delivered treatment for generalised anxiety in routine care (TCD)

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Details Date
Ad hoc peer reviewer for: British Journal of Guidance and Counselling; Cyberpsychology and Behaviour and social Networking Journal; Journal of Affective Disorders; Counselling Psychology Review; Counselling Psychology Quarterly; Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy; Journal of Medical Internet Research; BACP Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Journal (CPR)(Special Edition - Technology in Counselling and Psychotherapy); JMIR Mental Health, among others ad hoc
Associate Editor BMC Psychiatry 2019
Chairperson of the Technology for Well-being group 2007
Member of the ESF Pool of Reviewers for the period of 01 May 2009 - 30 April 2010 2009
Evaluator for HORIZON 2020 EU funding PHC-26 ICT & Health 2014
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
French Basic Basic Basic
Portuguese Basic Basic Basic
Spanish Fluent Fluent Fluent
Details Date From Date To
Member, Technology for Well-being group 2007 2010
Member, International Society for Mental Health Online 2005 2010
Accredited Member: Irish Association for Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy 2000 2010
Associate member: Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy 2003 2010
Member, Society for Psychotherapy Research 2004 present
Member, Digital Therapeutics Alliance 2018 present
C. Nadal, C. Earley, A. Enrique, C. Sas, D. Richards and G. Doherty, Patient Acceptance of Self-Monitoring on Smartwatch in a Routine Digital Therapy: a Mixed-Methods Study, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 31, (1), 2024, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Meurling, J., Rondung, E., Leiler, A., Wasteson, E., Andersson, G., Richards, D., Shahnavaz, S., & Bjärtå, A. , An online tiered screening procedure to identify mental health problems among refugees. , BMC Psychiatry, 23, (1), 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Lee, Chi Tak, Kelley, Sean W., Palacios, Jorge, Richards, Derek, Gillan, Claire M., Estimating the prognostic value of cross-sectional network connectivity for treatment response in depression, Psychological Medicine, 2023, p1-10 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Cumpanasoiu, Diana Catalina, Enrique, Angel, Palacios, Jorge E, Duffy, Daniel, McNamara, Scott, Richards, Derek, Trajectories of Symptoms in Digital Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Using Routine Outcome Monitoring Data: Secondary Analysis Study, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 11, 2023, pe41815 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Lee, Chi Tak, Harty, Siobhan, Adegoke, Adedeji, Palacios, Jorge, Gillan, Claire M., Richards, Derek, The Effectiveness of Low-Intensity Psychological Interventions for Comorbid Depression and Anxiety in Patients with Long-Term Conditions: A Real-World Naturalistic Observational Study in IAPT Integrated Care, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Duffy, Daniel, Richards, Derek, Earley, Caroline, Timulak, Ladislav, Implementing internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy in healthcare services: a qualitative exploration of stakeholder experience, Frontiers in Digital Health, 5, 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Harty, Siobhán, Enrique, Angel, Akkol-Solakoglu, Selin, Adegoke, Adedeji, Farrell, Hannah, Connon, Graham, Ward, Fiona, Kennedy, Conor, Chambers, Derek, Richards, Derek, Implementing digital mental health interventions at scale: one-year evaluation of a national digital CBT service in Ireland, International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 17, (1), 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Fox, Celine Ann, Lee, Chi Tak, Hanlon, Anna Kathleen, Seow, Tricia XF, Lynch, Kevin, Harty, Siobhán, Richards, Derek, Palacios, Jorge, O'Keane, Veronica, Stephan, Klaas Enno, Gillan, Claire M, An observational treatment study of metacognition in anxious-depression, eLife, 12, 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Prasad, Niranjani, Chien, Isabel, Regan, Tim, Enrique, Angel, Palacios, Jorge, Keegan, Dessie, Munir, Usman, Tanno, Ryutaro, Richardson, Hannah, Nori, Aditya, Richards, Derek, Doherty, Gavin, Belgrave, Danielle, Thieme, Anja, Deep learning for the prediction of clinical outcomes in internet-delivered CBT for depression and anxiety, PLOS ONE, 18, (11), 2023, pe0272685 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Building the Story of Scientific Evidence for Digital Therapeutics: Trials, Meta-Analysis, and Real-World Data in, editor(s)Oleksandr Sverdlov Joris van Dam , Digital Therapeutics: Strategic, Scientific, Developmental, and Regulatory Aspects, London, Chapman & Hall, 2022, [Richards, D., Enrique, A., Palacios, J., Eilert, N.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  DOI

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Richards, D.,, Digital Therapeutics: What's next?, Healthxl Global Gathering Event, Dublin, Ireland, 4th September, 2019, Healthxl, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Richards, D., Developments in e-mental health for students, eMental Health Seminar: Technology and Student Mental Health, Dublin, Ireland, 18th June, 2019, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Richards, D. , Improve Outcomes in Primary Care with Digital Therapeutics for Mental Health, 8th Annual Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care Models Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-21st May, 2019, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Richards, D.,, What is the future for mental health with advances in technology, The Future of Depression & Bipolar Disorder, Dublin, Ireland, 12th October, 2019, Aware Charity, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Richards, D., Implementing iCBT into routine care: The SilverCloud experience, Bridging the Research-to-Practice Chasm in Digital Mental Health, The Banbury Center, Lloyd Harbor, New York, 6-8th October, 2019, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Corporate Sponsor Program and Microsoft, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Richards, D., The relevance of Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy for common mental health issues in people with long-term conditions. , MSD Conference Identifying and Managing Mental Health symptoms in patients with Chronic Disease, Dublin, Ireland, 19th September, 2018, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Richards, D., Trends and opportunities in digital health, Digital Health WIT Salud, Madrid, Spain, 31st October, 2018, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Richards, D., Shift left: Moore's law for healthcare, Future health Summit, Dublin, Ireland, 28th May, 2018, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Richards, D., Palacios, J., Barnard, K., Debunking myths regarding online health interventions: How big data drives the conversation, UK Health Show, London, England, 26th September, 2018, Oral Presentation, PUBLISHED
Enrique, A., Richards, D.,, Explore the Contribution of Internet-Delivered Interventions for Mental Health, World Congress Behavioural Health, Virginia, Washington, 16th October, 2018, Oral Presentation, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
SilverCloud Health funded Research Fellowship 2013-2020
One in four people will be affected by a mental health condition in any given year.. Increasing global awareness of the prevalence of mental health conditions has made prevention and treatment a public health priority. Yet, current in-person clinical treatments are labor intensive, have limited availability, and often costly, creating long wait times and other barriers for those seeking access to the treatments they need. To meet the growing demand for effective and sustainable mental healthcare services, digitally-delivered psychotherapy interventions offer increased access to evidence-based care. Among these, Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (iCBT) has emerged as the primary method to provide accessible, scalable, digital behavioral healthcare.  Digital healths contribution to mental and behavioural healthcare has been significant, but we also know that we have most likely only begun to scratch the surface of the potential that current and emerging technologies can offer. It is a fascinating and innovative time for psychological science as it embraces technology to support the dissemination and greater access and reach to evidence-based treatments, preventative programmes and for the first time the potential to globalise these efforts. Breakthrough advances in AI and machine learning technology can be used to further enhance these comprehensive digital services by more effectively personalizing digital interventions. Understanding patient engagement and what components of the CBT-based intervention work for different groups of patients can help personalize the delivery of CBT-based interventions to minimize drop-out and improve patient outcomes, as well as enable healthcare professionals to triage patients at an earlier stage. In addition, the session will detail how a human-centric approach to AI and machine learning can assist in the detection, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of mental health conditions. I am very interested in the development, implementation and research of technology-delivered interventions for mental health problems. In particular, some of the current areas of interest include: Efficacy and effectiveness of digital health interventions Qualitative psychological experiences of service users and supporters Long-term conditions management Cultural adaptation and personalisation of digital health interventions Implementation science & practice Machine-based learning and AI approaches to digital health Device integration and experimentation