Scientific Evaluation Policy

With our free online course “Corona”, we want to help foster the mental health of people during the corona crisis. To ensure that our course continues to meet our high standards in terms of effectiveness and safety, you can optionally agree to the anonymous evaluation of parts of your data for research purposes.

Participant Information

Background of the scientific evaluation

When signing up for our course “HelloBetter Corona”, provided free of charge by HelloBetter/GET.ON Institut für Gesundheitstrainings GmbH, you can optionally agree that parts of the data generated by you during the course may be evaluated anonymously for study purposes. The underlying study project is entitled “Naturalistic Evaluation of an Internet-based Psychological Training Program for Mental Strain Associated with the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic”.

Goals of the Evaluation

The aim of the study is to investigate whether people who participate in “HelloBetter Corona” are able to improve their well-being using the course. In particular, it will be investigated whether and to what extent symptoms of depression, anxiety and perceived stress have improved 8 weeks after the start of course. Furthermore, it will be investigated how participants evaluate the content and structure of the course. For this purpose, the lesson feedback, which can be given voluntarily after each lesson, will be analysed. Overall, this will generate more knowledge about whether the course we offer is a viable way to increase the psychological well-being of people during the corona crisis.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Creating a course profile on the HelloBetter platform. This includes passing on an e-mail address, assigning a secure password and creating a user name. Both your stored mail address and your user name can be pseudonyms.
  • A minimum age of 18 years.

By registering, you certify that you meet these eligibility criteria.

What speaks against participation?

Participation in the course is at your own risk. If you have experienced and/or have been diagnosed with dissociative symptoms and/or psychoses now or in the past, as well as in acute crises, participation in the course without simultaneous specialist medical advice is strongly advised against. Further information can be found in the HelloBetter terms and conditions

Evaluation Process

Registration for the course is only possible if you (1) agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and (2) give your consent to the use of health data in the online course. You will only participate in the study if you (3) also consent to the optional evaluation for research purposes described in this document. Immediately after registration, the HelloBetter course platform will be activated for you. Before you can work on the first lesson, you will be asked to evaluate your symptoms in a short questionnaire (approx. 3 minutes). Every two weeks (after 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks) you will be asked to complete the short questionnaire again. In addition, you can rate your symptoms on a scale of 0-10 every day during course in the “Diary” section.

After the last of the biweekly assessments (after 8 weeks), the evaluation is completed. However, the course remains unlocked for you; in total, you can use the course for one year after registration.

Benefits for Participants

You can use the free course to strengthen your stress management skills during the corona crisis and improve your psychological well-being.

Risks and Side Effects of Participation

Risks, dangers and undesirable side effects are not known, but course success cannot be guaranteed. There may be a low risk that your stress level will temporarily increase due to the additional effort of training.

Participation is Voluntary

Participation in the course is on a voluntary basis. It is always possible to terminate participation without giving reasons. This will not cause any disadvantages for you. If you want to cancel the course, you can contact In this context, you can also decide whether the data you have collected so far may be used for evaluation, or should be destroyed.

Data Safety

For the collection and processing of data, the general privacy policy of HelloBetter ( applies. Data is collected via the password-protected Internet-based course platform of HelloBetter. The platform meets all required quality standards and works according to ISO 27000 and NEN 7510 standards. Unauthorized access to the platform is not possible. Your data collected in the course of the scientific investigation will be treated confidentially and, if personal, will only be passed on in encrypted form. For this purpose you will be assigned a code word consisting of a combination of letters and numbers. The evaluation of the data collected in the course of the examination is carried out by scientists at the Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg. Only data that is necessary to conduct the examination is transferred:

Depressive Symptoms  Patient Health Questionnaire, 8-Item Version (PHQ-8; Kroenke et al., 2009)Before first course session, after 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks
Anxiety SymptomsGeneralized Anxiety Disorder 7 (GAD-7; Spitzer et al., 2006)Before first course session, after 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks
Perceived Stress  Perceived Stress Scale 4-Item Version (PSS-4; Cohen et al., 1983)Before first course session, after 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks
Mood  Visual Analog Scale (0-10)Diary functionality
Stress  Visual Analog Scale (0-10)Diary functionality
AgeIn years; before first course session  Sign-Up
SexBefore first course session  Sign-Up
SatisfactionFeedback questionnaire at the end of each course session (3 questions on usefulness, complexity, recommendation)  After each session
Usage BehaviorTracking of the number of completed course lessons; tracking of the number of logins with time stamps  Through the course platform

An e-mail address and a user name are required for registration on the Internet platform. You have the option of creating an anonymous e-mail address in advance, which does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about your name; the same applies to your user name. The e-mail address and your chosen user name will be stored separately from the other data in order to prevent allocation. The data required for the scientific evaluation are stored in a pseudonymised way, i.e. without mentioning your name. Communication with the course platform is exclusively in encrypted form. There is an coding list that connects your name with an identifier, which might be necessary for the evaluation of the data. The coding list is only accessible to the project members and will be destroyed after the data collection is completed. You can, whenever you wish, request the deletion of all data collected from you. However, once the coding list is deleted, we can no longer identify your data record. Therefore, we can only comply with your request for deletion of your data as long as the coding list exists. Should you withdraw from the study, you can decide whether the already existing data must be destroyed or may be used for evaluation.

Informed Consent (Data Privacy Policy)

If you give your consent to the optional evaluation for study purposes, you agree that the data collected will be temporarily stored electronically without mentioning your name. For this purpose, your name will be replaced by a code consisting of letters and numbers. By registering for the online course, you agree that your data listed above under “Data Safety” will be stored and evaluated exclusively for scientific purposes under this code. There is a coding list that links your name to the code. This coding list is only accessible to the data officer and will be deleted after completion of the data collection and evaluation. By registering for the course, you declare that you are aware that you can revoke your consent to the storage and analysis of this data without incurring any disadvantages for you. Furthermore, by doing so you declare that you have been informed that you can demand the deletion of all your data at any time. However, if the coding list has already been deleted, your data record can no longer be identified and therefore cannot be deleted. Your data is then anonymised. By registering for the course, you agree that your anonymised data can be used for research purposes and will be stored for at least 10 years. By registering for the course, you also declare that you have received and read the participant information listed above in this document. The participant information is part of this declaration of informed consent.

Informed Consent (Study Participation)

By registering for the course, you agree that the following facts apply:

  • I have been informed about the aim, content and procedure of the study “Naturalistic Evaluation of an Internet-based Psychological Training Program for Mental Strain Associated with the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic”.
  • I have read and understood all information completely. If I had any questions about this study, they were answered completely and to my satisfaction by the study management.
  • I had sufficient time to make a decision and am prepared to provide my data for the above mentioned study.
  • I know that participation in the study is voluntary, free of charg,e and that I can terminate my participation at any time without giving reasons. In case of cancellation I will not incur any costs, obligations or other disadvantages.

For questions pertaining to the study, you can contact Mathias Harrer (
GET.ON Institut GmbH Schrammsweg 11, 20249 Hamburg, Germany

Study Consortium

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Matthias Berking
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Lehrstuhl für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie
Nägelsbachstraße 25a
91052 Erlangen

Prof. Dr. David Daniel Ebert
Fachbereich Klinische-, Neuro- und Entwicklungspsychologie
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Van der Boechorststraat 1,
1081 BT Amsterdam, Niederlande

Statistical Analysis Commisioner

Mathias Harrer, M.Sc.
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Lehrstuhl für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie
Nägelsbachstraße 25a
91052 Erlangen

Data Acquisition & Course Dissemination

HelloBetter – GET.ON Institut für Gesundheitstrainings GmbH
Hannes Kloepper, Philip Ihde, David Ebert
Schrammsweg 11

20249 Hamburg