Exploring Mental Wellness Of Academicians And Their Perspectives On The Use Of Digital Technology Associated With Mental Health In Klang Valley, Malaysia

Ern Sher Lau, Zi Xuan Ng, Hui Zhen Lean, Jamuna Rani Appalasamy, Ali Haider Mohammed, Janhavi Ajit Vaingankar, Amutha Selvaraj

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Introduction: Mental wellness relates to a state of positive mental health that involves a balance between emotional, psychological and social well-being. This study aims to explore the positive mental health (PMH) of academicians, its association with the socio-demographic factors and the usage of digital technology to support mental health. Methods: A cross-sectional mixed method study was conducted among university academicians in Klang Valley, Malaysia. A total of 388 academicians completed the online survey which included the multidimensional 19-item PMH instrument and qualitative questions exploring the academicians’ perspective on the use of mobile mental health apps. Results: The mean total PMH score was 4.65 ± 0.68. The total PMH and domain specific scores showed significant differences with age, ethnicity, marital status, qualification, academician rank and teaching experience (p<0.05). Significant associations were also found for faculty and organization with spirituality, working hours with global affect and spirituality, citizenship with general coping and spirituality domains, respectively. Older academicians, long years of service and senior academic ranking had higher PMH scores. Academicians with longer working hours showed significantly lower scores for spirituality and global affect domains. Majority of academicians (83.7%) demonstrated poor awareness towards the use of mobile apps for supporting mental health but a small group (18.3%) specified it was crucial for emotional need or support. The most common perceived benefit of mobile mental health apps was convenience (22.7%), whereas the major disadvantage was lack of human interaction (46.9%). Most academicians suggested that mobile apps should have extra features such as updated information and human support. Conclusion: Academicians in Malaysia have relatively higher PMH scores. Higher learning institutes may need to consider fostering the psychosocial aspects of PMH and increase the awareness of mobile apps’ usage especially among younger academicians to ensure both mental wellness and work efficiency.
Keywords: Mental Health, Academician, Mental Health App, Perspective, Digital Technology

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