The Linking Hearts project and study protocols have been approved by the research ethics boards of all participating institutions in China and Canada. Canadian institutions include Ryerson University (REB 2018-455), University of Toronto (RIS 37724), University of Alberta (Pro00089364), and York University (e2019-162). Informed consent will be obtained from all participants prior to data collection. The team will employ both qualitative and quantitative tools for data collection, including self-reported questionnaires, general response surveys, and focus groups conducted with students and service providers (Table 1).

Design of the contextual assessment for each participating university site in Shandong, Jinan, China.

The survey and questionnaire instruments will include the following:

Student demographics: To better understand the social, economic, and cultural contexts of the university students whom we will engage in ACE-LYNX training, we will collect information on their background characteristics, program of study and year in program, living arrangement, family history, and family socioeconomic background.

Self-reported psychological symptoms: We will use the depression, anxiety, and stress scale (DASS-21), a widely used measure of self-reported mental health symptoms [25]. This measure contains 21 items, with 7 items in each of the 3 subscales intended to evaluate the depression, anxiety, and stress across student populations. Cronbach alpha coefficients of subscales with Chinese university student samples were acceptable, ranging from .72 to .81 in previous research [26]. The DASS-21 subscale totals will be interpreted along with the recommended cut-off scores for the interpretation of mild, moderate, and severe categorical distinctions of mental health symptoms.

Mental health literacy: Mental health knowledge and literacy will be evaluated using the mental health knowledge questionnaire (MHKQ) [27]. This measure consists of 20 true and false questions and 5 vignettes designed to evaluate mental health–related knowledge across general mental well-being issues [28]. The response rate of MHKQ in past research with Chinese samples ranged from 19% to 94%, with Cronbach alpha coefficients ranging from .57 to .73 [29]. The overall response rates, as well as individual question response rates, will be assessed in this study.

Mental illness stigma: The community attitudes toward mental illness (CAMI) scale is a 40-item questionnaire that measures externalized stigmatizing attitudes toward those with mental illness [30]. These include authoritarianism (viewing those with mental illness as inferior), benevolence (caring for the well-being of those mentally ill), social restrictiveness (seeing those with mental illness as a threat to society), and community ideology (accepting the therapeutic value and inclusion of mentally ill in society). The Cronbach alpha coefficients for subscales of the CAMI were reported to be acceptable, ranging from .60 to .81 in a sample of Asian men [16]. Subscale totals will be used as indicators of mental illness stigma in this study.

In addition to surveys and quantitative measures, participants will also be asked to identify their top mental health concerns, perceptions of the causes of mental illness, and areas of prioritization for service provision and training of health care professionals. We will list mental health resources based on information from the regional research team and advisory committees and ask participants to indicate whether they are aware of or have utilized them personally. In addition, participants will also be asked to list who they would turn to for advice regarding mental health issues. A small number of participants (144 university students and 144 service providers) will be recruited equitably from participating institutions by using stratified random sampling to participate in focus groups to explore (1) participants’ perspectives on mental health and mental illness, (2) common mental health needs of university students and the influencing factors, (3) how university students understand and respond to their mental health needs, (4) facilitators and barriers to accessing mental health care, (5) strategies to engage university students in mental health promotion and to improve access to care, and (6) participants’ perceived acceptability of the ACE-LYNX intervention to promote mental health among university students.

Note: The content above has been extracted from a research article, so it may not display correctly.

Please log in to submit your questions online.
Your question will be posted on the Bio-101 website. We will send your questions to the authors of this protocol and Bio-protocol community members who are experienced with this method. you will be informed using the email address associated with your Bio-protocol account.

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to allow the storage of cookies on your computer.