Category: Technology

Symposium

Utilizing Mobile Technology in Intensive Treatment Settings: Implications for Research and Clinical Practice

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

Keywords: Technology / Mobile Health | OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) | Prevention
Presentation Type: Symposium

Advances in mobile technology have changed how we engage with every facet of our lives, including how clients engage with treatment. While emerging studies focus on utilization in outpatient settings, there is limited understanding of how to effectively integrate these technologies into intensive treatment settings/residential levels of care. This study evaluated the effectiveness and acceptability of an Exposure/Response Prevention (ERP) app within an intensive OCD treatment program; collecting quantitative and qualitative data from clients and behavioral therapists (BT).


At pre-treatment, clients reported high willingness and confidence using the app, along with moderately high expectations that the app would enhance their treatment. Similarly, BTs believed the app would be more effective than treatment as usual (TAU) and equally as effective as an additional paper/pencil (P&P) form designed to mimic the app. At post-treatment, both parties rated the app to be “as helpful” as TAU and clients reported moderately high willingness to use the app again. Interestingly, clients rated the overall helpfulness of the app in the moderate-low range, rating it significantly more distracting than P&P (t(11)=2.68, p=.02); however, 75% of BTs recommend future use of the app/P&P compared to TAU. In addition, OCD symptom severity at admission was positively correlated with clients’ ratings of app helpfulness (r=.66, p=.04), willingness to use it again (r=.74, p=.02), and negatively correlated with clients’ ratings of app’s level of distraction (r=-.72, p=.02). There were no significant age-based differences in ratings of helpfulness, distraction, or willingness to use the app; although, group differences did exist based on education level.


The qualitative data identified important considerations for effectively integrating technology with existing intensive treatment structures, including implications for design, customizability, and implementation strategy. Based on these findings a project integrating mobile assessment and wearable sensors on a wider scale (for clinical and research use) was developed. Suggested guidelines for utilizing technology in clinical research will be presented to help attendees adapt to various levels of care. 

Nathaniel Van Kirk

Administrative Director of Research
McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School

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