One of our main interests is understanding how technology can be harnessed to allow mentors to provide support to their mentees and hold their mentees accountable as they achieve their own goals. Based on research from the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring and beyond, we have founded a mobile platform, MentorHub, to bring this technology to mentoring programs.
The enormous potential of technology-delivered interventions to bridge gaps in educational and mental health services has been hampered by low engagement, improper use, and high rates of non-completion. In fact, as many as three-quarters of users don’t complete the recommended number of app or online sessions once they start. We argue that supportive accountability can help. 
  • When blended with coaches and mentors who are trained to provide supportive accountability (e.g., regular check-ins, monitoring, encouraging, nudging, troubleshooting), apps and other technology-delivered interventions can produce results that rival face-to-face interventions.
  • Compared to self-guided apps, educational and wellness apps that incorporate supportive accountability are twice as effective according to a recent meta-analysis.
  • Studies have shown that supportive accountability need not be delivered in person and requires relatively little time on the part of the coach or mentor. Clearly, there is a role for mentors, teachers, parents, and others in providing such reminders and guidance.

Related Publications

Werntz, A., Amado, S., Jasman, M., Ervin, A., Rhodes, J. E. (forthcoming/in press). Providing Human Support for Use of Digital Mental Health Interventions: A Systematic Meta-Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research. https://preprints.jmir.org/preprint/42864/accepted

Werntz, A., Silverman, A. L., Behan, H., Patel, S. K., Beltzer, M., Boukhechba, M. O., Barnes, L., & Teachman, B. A.. (2022). Lessons learned: Providing supportive accountability in an online anxiety intervention. Behavior Therapy53(3), 492–507. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2021.12.002 [PDF]