GSA-Online plus


The GSA-Online plus aftercare programme is aimed at rehabilitation patients who are professionally burdened or who need job-related aftercare services. Internet-based aftercare takes place directly after inpatient rehabilitation and extends over a period of 12 weeks. A central component of GSA-Online plus is the regular writing of diary entries by the participants and prompt feedback from trained online therapists.

The study centre is the Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy of the University Medicine Mainz, cooperation partners are the Media Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the Institute for Knowledge Media (IWM) of the University Koblenz-Landau as well as three rehabilitation facilities.

Question and goal of the project

Even after successful rehabilitation, the return to work is often associated with new demands or burdens. There is therefore often a need for appropriate aftercare programmes which help to counteract these burdens and stabilise the treatment success of inpatient medical rehabilitation in the long term. For this reason, we have developed an Internet-based aftercare programme that accompanies professionally burdened rehabilitants on their return to work.


The predecessor project GSA-Online proved that an Internet-based aftercare measure can improve the reintegration into everyday working life of patients in in-patient cardiological, orthopaedic and psychosomatic rehabilitation who are professionally burdened.

In the current GSA-Online plus project, the feasibility of online follow-up care in practice for rehabilitants with different indications is to be tested. To this end, the programme will be adapted to the care processes of the rehabilitation facilities, so that patients who are professionally burdened can receive simple and cost-effective access to aftercare in various rehabilitation clinics. Information on the procedure, content and benefits of GSA-Online plus is provided on the online platform developed by the IWM by means of attractive films.

Within the framework of the current project, it will be examined whether participants of GSA-Online plus can stabilize their positive handling of occupational stress and whether their reintegration into the profession is promoted by their participation in the project.


The weekly diary entries: Focus of the writing intervention

The central task of the aftercare program GSA-Online plus is a writing intervention: Every week the participants write a diary entry to a given writing impulse, which instructs the participants to write about certain events, thoughts and feelings. At the beginning of the aftercare program, participants can choose which day of the week they want to write their entry on. GSA-Online plus can therefore be easily integrated into the daily routine. Communication with the online therapist is anonymous.

After writing the entry, a trained online therapist reads the entry and usually writes a personal response within 24 hours. The therapist deals with the burdens and problems of the rehabilitee by giving suggestions and food for thought. The goal is that participants understand the situations described by them better and can deal better with stressful situations in the long run.