Category: Technology

Symposium

Effectiveness of a Smartphone App for Self-Assessment During Transition From Partial to Outpatient Levels of Care

Saturday, November 18
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom O & P, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Technology / Mobile Health | Ecological Momentary Assessment
Presentation Type: Symposium

The period of time following psychiatric hospitalization is a critical window of risk for relapse and re-hospitalization. In this context, technology may provide useful tools to “bridge” levels of care. The present ongoing study investigates the usefulness of a smartphone app during the two-week period following discharge from partial hospitalization for acute psychiatric symptoms. Participants complete on their smartphones 5 brief daily surveys administered at semi-random times to assess mood/anxiety symptoms, positive/negative affect, social contact, and stress. In addition, 50% of participants are randomly assigned to track usage of CBT skills (learned during partial hospitalization). To date, 68 patients from the partial hospitalization program have been considered for recruitment: 47% enrolled in the study (current n = 32); 38% were excluded because of clinical or practical concerns; 15% declined participation. Of the 32 participants enrolled, 3 (9%) dropped out before the end of the two-week study period, and 15 (47%) have already completed the study (recruitment is ongoing, projected n = 100). Preliminary analyses conducted on participant feedback from the last day of the study showed that participants rated themselves between “minimally” and “much improved” compared to how they felt when they left the partial hospital using the Clinical Global Improvement Scale (M = 5.43, SD = 1.2, on a 7-point scale). Participants also reported finding the app “somewhat” to “very helpful” (M = 3.43, SD .94, on a 5-point scale), and “very convenient” to use (M = 4.21, SD = 1.12, on a 5-point scale). In addition, participants reported being “very likely” to recommend this app to others (M = 4.14, SD = .95, on a 5-point scale). Participants tracking CBT skills usage also tended to rate the app more favorably than others. Qualitative feedback confirmed that participants appreciated being reminded of concepts and skills from treatment after discharge (e.g., “I liked that it made me feel like I was still in treatment”) and having a convenient way to track symptoms and experiences (“It helped me understand where my moods were on a day-to-day basis”). After data collection concludes in June 2017, statistical analyses will also examine relationships between daily fluctuations in stress levels, social contact, positive/negative affect, cognitive-behavioral skills use, and symptom changes. Results from this study will help inform how technology can best be used to maximize the durability of treatment gains in naturalistic settings.  

Marie Forgeard

Postdoctoral Fellow
McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School

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