Developing resilience online: Evaluation of synchronous and asynchronous resilience interventions for Filipino college students

  • Maria Regina H. Hechanova Department of Psychology, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines
  • Rosanne M. Jocson National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Arsenio Alianan Department of Psychology, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines
  • Junix Jerald I. Delos Santos Department of Psychology, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines; and School of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts, University of Baguio, Baguio City, Philippines
  • Jason O. Manaois Department of Psychology, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines; and Department of Psychology, Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
  • Gilda A. Gomez Department of Psychology, Ateneo de Naga University, Naga City, Philippines
  • Gina R. Lamzon Department of Psychology, Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City, Philippines
Keywords: resilience, mental health, MHPSS, pandemic, well-being, depression, Philippines


This study evaluated two forms of a resilience intervention amongst college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilising a randomised controlled trial design, it examined the impact of a synchronous and asynchronous resilience interventions versus a control group that did a journaling intervention. Outcomes measured included coping behaviour, non-reactivity, wellbeing, stress, depression and anxiety. Participants consisted of Filipino college students randomly assigned to three groups: synchronous online resilience group (n = 135), asynchronous resilience group (n = 121) and control group (n = 127). Results revealed that students who went through the online synchronous resilience reported a significant reduction in depression at post-intervention compared to those who went through an asynchronous intervention. Post-intervention scores for nonreactivity were also higher in the synchronous group compared to both asynchronous and journaling groups. Effect sizes were small to moderate. This study suggests that online resilience interventions are viable means to address the mental health needs of students, especially in countries with limited mental health resources.


Download data is not yet available.


Aller, T. B., et al., (2022) ‘A non-randomized, quasi-experimental comparison of effects between an in-person and online delivery of a college mental health literacy curriculum’, Prevention Science, 23(7):1208–1215. doi: 10.1007/s11121-022-01350-y

Andrews, G., et al., (2010) ‘Computer therapy for the anxiety and depressive disorders is effective, acceptable and practical health care: a meta-analysis’, PLoS One, vol. 5, no. 10, p. e13196. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013196

Andrews, G., et al., (2018) ‘Computer therapy for the anxiety and depression disorders is effective, acceptable and practical health care: an updated meta-analysis’, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 55, pp. 70–78, doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2018.01.001

Ang, W. H. D., et al., (2022) ‘Effectiveness of resilience interventions for higher education students: a meta-analysis and meta-regression’, Journal of Educational Psychology, 114(7), 1670–1694.

Antony, M. M., et al., (1998) ‘Psychometric properties of the 42-item and 21-item versions of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales in clinical groups and a community sample’, Psychological Assessment, vol. 10, no. 2, p. 176. doi: 10.1037/1040-3590.10.2.176

Baer, R., et al., (2006) ‘Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness’, Assessment, vol. 13. no. 1, pp. 27–45. doi: 10.1177/1073191105283504

Blau, I., Weiser, O. & Eshet-Alkalai, Y. (2017) ‘How do medium naturalness and personality traits shape academic achievement and perceived learning? An experimental study of face-to-face and synchronous e-learning’, Research in Learning Technology, 25,1–23. doi: 10.25304/rlt.v25.1974

Browning, M. E., et al., (2022) ‘Brief ACT for undergraduates: a mixed-methods pilot investigation of acceptance and commitment therapy delivered over Zoom’, Journal of College Student Psychotherapy. doi: 10.1080/87568225.2022.2029659

Carver, C. S. (1997) ‘You want to measure coping but your protocol’s too long: consider the brief COPE’, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 92–100. doi: 10.1207/s15327558ijbm0401_6

Constantine, M. G. (2002) ‘Predictors of satisfaction with counseling: racial and ethnic minority clients’ attitudes toward counseling and ratings of their counselors’ general and multicultural counseling competence’, Journal of Counseling Psychology, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 255. doi: 10.1037/0022-0167.49.2.255

Giordano, F., et al., (2020) ‘Receptive music therapy to reduce stress and improve wellbeing in Italian clinical staff involved in COVID-19 pandemic: a preliminary study’, The Arts in Psychotherapy, vol. 70, p. 101688. doi: 10.1016/j.aip.2020.101688

Haque, A. (2010) ‘Mental health concepts in Southeast Asia: diagnostic considerations and treatment implications’, Psychology, Health and Medicine, vol. 15, pp. 127–134. doi: 10.1080/13548501003615266

Hechanova, M. R. M., et al., (2015) ‘The development and initial evaluation of Katatagan: a resilience intervention for Filipino disaster survivors’, Philippine Journal of Psychology, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 105–131.

Hechanova, M. R., et al., (2018) ‘Evaluation of a resilience intervention for Filipino displaced survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan’, Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 346–359. doi: 10.1108/DPM-01-2018-0001

Hechanova, M. R., et al., (2022) ‘Online resilience support groups during the COVID-19 pandemic: the Philippine experience’, Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 56–65. doi: 10.1108/MHSI-06-2021-0038

Hechanova, M. R., Valentin, P. & Alampay, K. (2022) ‘Age, COVID-19 and mental health in the Philippines: a multi-dimensional perspective’, Asia Pacific Social Science Review, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 142–157.

Hechanova, M. R. M., Waelde, L. C. & Ramos, P. A. P. (2016) ‘Evaluation of a group-based resilience intervention for Typhoon Haiyan survivors’, Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, vol. 10, no. 12, pp. 1–10. doi: 10.1017/prp.2016.9

Imran, N., Zeshan, M. & Pervaiz, Z. (2020) ‘Mental health considerations for children & adolescents in COVID-19 pandemic’, Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, vol. 36, no. COVID19-S4, pp. S67–S72. doi: 10.12669/pjms.36.COVID19-S4.2759

Joyce, S., et al., (2018) ‘Road to resilience: a systematic review and meta-analysis of resilience training programmes and interventions’, BMJ Open, vol. 8, pp. 1–9. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017858

Li, H., Kraut, R. E. & Zhu, H. (2021) ‘Technical features of asynchronous and synchronous community platforms and their effects on community cohesion: a comparative study of forum-based and chat-based online mental health communities’, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 403–421. doi: 10.1093/jcmc/zmab016

Liu, K., et al., (2020) ‘Effects of progressive muscle relaxation on anxiety and sleep quality in patients with COVID-19’, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol. 39, p. 101132. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101132

Luthar, S. S. & Cicchetti, D. (2000) ‘The construct of resilience: implications for interventions and social policies’, Development and Psychopathology, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 857–885. doi: 10.1017/S0954579400004156

Ma, L., et al., (2021) ‘Prevalence of mental health problems among children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 293, pp. 78–89. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.06.021

Mukhtar, S. (2020) ‘Pakistanis’ mental health during the COVID-19’, Asian Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 51, p. 102127. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102127

Muthén, L. K. & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2017) Mplus User’s Guide, 8th edn, Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén

Muthen, B. O. & Satorra, A. (1995) ‘Complex sample data in structural equation modeling’, Sociological Methodology, vol. 25, pp. 267–316. doi: 10.2307/271070

Peugh, J. L. (2010) ‘A practical guide to multilevel modeling’, Journal of School Psychology, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 85–112. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2009.09.002

Sassaki, Y., et al., (2019) ‘Pre-disaster social support is protective for onset of post-disaster depression: prospective study from the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami’, Nature, vol. 9, p. 19427. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-55953-7

Soklaridis, S., et al., (2020) ‘Mental health interventions and supports during COVID-19 and other medical pandemics: a rapid systematic review of the evidence’, General Hospital Psychiatry, vol. 66, pp. 133–146. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2020.08.007

Wei, N., et al., (2020) ‘Efficacy of internet-based integrated intervention on depression and anxiety symptoms in patients with COVID-19’, Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE B, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 400–404. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B2010013

World Health Organization (WHO). (1998) WHO-5 Well-being Index. Available at:

Zhou, L., et al., (2020) ‘Feasibility and preliminary results of effectiveness of social media-based intervention on the psychological well-being of suspected COVID-19 cases during quarantine’, The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 65, no. 10, pp. 736–738. doi: 10.1177/0706743720932041
How to Cite
Hechanova M. R. H., Jocson R. M., Alianan, Jr. A. S., Delos Santos J. J. I., Manaois J. O., Gomez G. A., & Lamzon G. R. (2023). Developing resilience online: Evaluation of synchronous and asynchronous resilience interventions for Filipino college students. Research in Learning Technology, 31.
Original Research Articles