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Mental Disorders

Psychosocial Intervention App Feasible in Serious Mental Illness

HealthDay News

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FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A psychosocial self-management intervention can be adapted for smartphone application and used by adults with serious mental illness, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Karen L. Whiteman, Ph.D., from the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging in Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues examined the technical abilities and needs of middle-aged and older adults with serious mental illnesses using smartphones. Through principles of user-centered design, the authors developed smartphone content and modified an existing smartphone platform. A usability test was conducted using think aloud and verbal probing.

The researchers tested the usability of a psychosocial self-management intervention adapted to a smartphone application. A high level of usability and satisfaction with the smartphone application was reported by 10 participants (mean age, 55.3 years) with serious mental illness and comorbid chronic health conditions.

"Middle-aged and older adults with serious mental illness and limited technical abilities were able to participate in a process involving user-centered design and adaptation of a self-management intervention to be delivered by a smartphone," the authors write. "Future research is indicated to establish effectiveness and to determine the type and intensity of clinical support needed to successfully implement smartphone applications as a component of community-based services for older adults with psychiatric and medical conditions."

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