Smartphone intervention possible in the event of severe mental illness

HealthDay News – According to a study published online Nov. 12 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, smartphone intervention is very useful and acceptable for patients with severe mental illness (SMI), and improves outcomes.

Dror Ben-Zeev, Ph.D., of the University of Washington at Seattle, and colleagues conducted a study of CORE, a smartphone intervention that includes daily exercises designed to encourage reassessment of dysfunctional beliefs. A total of 315 people from 45 countries were randomly assigned to either an active intervention group or a waiting list control group. Participants were assessed at baseline, 30 days and 60 days using the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition (BDI-II), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Hamilton Program for Schizophrenia Voices, Green Paranoid Thought Scale, Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), Friendship Scale and Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS).

Participants had self-reported bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (35.2, 43.2, and 21.6 percent, respectively) and had moderate to severe symptoms and disabilities at baseline. The researchers found that CORE was rated as acceptable and very useful. In intent-to-treat analyzes, significant interactions between treatment and time were observed for BDI-II, GAD-7, RAS, RSES and SDS. Large effect sizes were observed for BDI-II, RAS and RSES, while SDS showed a moderate effect size and a small effect size was observed for GAD-7. Similar changes in outcome measures were observed after crossover from waiting list controls to CORE.

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“New scientific evidence showing that remote access mobile health technologies like CORE can be navigable and beneficial for people with SMI is very encouraging,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and technology industries.

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