Staying on Track is an online course that provides a range of tools to help you cope with worries and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. It consists of one illustrated lesson, supported by a lesson summary and helpful resources.
The content teaches you how to manage worry, stay active, manage sleep problems, stay connected with yourself and others, problem-solve and more. Before you start, you are asked a series of questions to gauge how you are feeling.
The course can be done with the support of a health professional or you can do it on your own (self-guided). It is available to anyone residing in New Zealand or the Pacific Island nations who may need some extra support with their mental wellbeing due to the impacts of COVID-19. For the complete app description, go to the website or, for a detailed review, see Reviews.
✔ At the end of the lesson there are multiple resources. – 11 written resources. These cover a wide variety of standard cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) tools and topics such as Worry Time, and a problem-solving worksheet. – Two audio resources (mindfulness and progressive muscle relaxation). – One abstract animated video (breathing exercise). – There is also an 8-page summary section going over the topics and tips, finishing off with a few worksheets (similar to the downloadable ones).
✔ The session has a validated mental health screening questionnaire (which you can skip).
✔ You can either sign up for free on your own, or a clinician (eg, your doctor or CBT therapist) can 'refer' you and monitor your progress and mental health questionnaire scores. The clinician cannot interact with you in any way on the platform.
✔ Suitable for both adolescents and adults.
✘ There is no mobile app, but the web page is mobile-optimised. Best suited for tablets, laptops or desktop computers.
✘ The worksheets during the summary section unfortunately don't save your answers, and this is not immediately clear. Therefore, it would be best to download the relevant worksheets from the resources section.
✘ There are several disadvantages to online CBT. These include: – low adherence when unguided – lack of direct monitoring unless your GP's practice is set up for this – technology accessibility – English literacy requirements.
✘ There is a general lack of video elements.
✘ It's not available in languages other than English.
Date of review: April 2020 Platform reviewed: Online Version: Accessed April 2020
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Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team.
Last reviewed: 14 Apr 2020
The clinical score depends on the context in which Staying on Track is used.
If guided by a relevant health professional with phone or email follow up, or self-guided for highly motivated patients:
If you use this on your own without a health provider, studies show fewer people complete the full course (although completing even one session could be helpful) so the score is lower:
Reviewer: Jeremy Steinberg, GP, RNZCGP Date of review: April 2020 Comments: Staying on Track is an online cognitive behavioural therapy course (CBT) covering a variety of CBT tools within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is useful for anyone, from adolescence to older people, who is feeling mental distress during the COVID-19 pandemic, even those without any diagnosable mental health condition.
Staying on Track is a web module that sits inside the Just a Thought website. The website also has modules on depression and generalised anxiety disorder and provides online CBT. Just a Thought was modelled after a well-known and evidence-based Australian programme called This Way Up, with improvements and modifications for the New Zealand context. Health Navigator’s review of Just a Thought can be found here.
While the depression and anxiety course were modified from the Australian programme, it appears that this COVID-19 course has been written exclusively for Just a Thought. While the COVID-19 module only has one lesson compared to 6 for the other 2 courses, the lesson is packed with many helpful, downloadable, written and other resources at the end of the lesson.
The lesson has the same design consistency as the other modules with a comic-book style slide show with 54 slides. It covers 3 topics: taking it one day at a time/mindfulness, it’s OK to not feel OK, and staying connected.
Like other online CBT courses, the risk of non-completion is very high without supervision. However, with completion (or possibly even partial completion) the literature is quite clear that online CBT is effective. These issues are discussed further in the general review, and the strengths and limitations remain the same for this module.
Technologically the course is missing the function of saving the user’s answers into the worksheets in the summary section. It is not immediately clear that you cannot save your answers and so I suspect some may feel a bit let down if they try to access their previously completed worksheets and they see them empty. Safety concerns: None. New Zealand relevance: Written for the New Zealand context.