Study: mHealth Intervention Program Helps Post-Discharge Schizophrenia Patients | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: mHealth Intervention Program Helps Post-Discharge Schizophrenia Patients

August 5, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Engaging in a mobile health (mHealth) intervention program can help Individuals with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders during high-risk periods after hospital discharge, according to new research in the Journal of Medical Internet Research Mental Health.

According to the researchers, from various prominent medical institutions across the U.S., mHealth interventions that use mobile phones as instruments for illness management are gaining popularity. Research examining mobile phone‒based mHealth programs for people with psychosis has shown that these approaches are feasible, acceptable, and clinically promising. However, most mHealth initiatives involving people with schizophrenia have spanned periods ranging from a few days to several weeks and have typically involved participants who were clinically stable, they said.

As such, the aim of this study was to evaluate the viability of extended mHealth interventions for people with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders following hospital discharge. The researchers examined mHealth intervention use and demographic and clinical predictors of engagement in 342 individuals with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders who were given the FOCUS mobile phone intervention as part of a technology-assisted relapse prevention program during the six-month high-risk period following hospitalization.

Once individuals demonstrated their proficiency using the phone and understanding the program, the assigned case manager engaged them in a shared decision-making process to identify the three most relevant treatment targets from five possible FOCUS modules: medication adherence, mood regulation, sleep, social functioning, and coping with auditory hallucinations. Once treatment targets were selected, they were input into the mobile phone and patients could use FOCUS independently. The FOCUS system prompted patients to engage in a brief assessment/intervention up to three times daily, focusing on their assigned treatment targets. In addition to pre-scheduled prompts, participants could access the treatment content for all five modules without restriction as part of the FOCUS on-demand functions. The mobile phone transmitted participant use data to a remote server regularly, the researchers noted.

On average, participants engaged with FOCUS for 82 percent of the weeks they had the mobile phone. People who used FOCUS more often continued using it over longer periods: 44 percent used the intervention over five to six months, on average for 4.3 days a week. What’s more, the majority of participants were able to use the mobile phone and FOCUS program safely and without difficulty.

The researchers concluded, “Our findings suggest that most participants (74 percent) were willing and able to use the FOCUS program successfully during this high-risk period for three to six months, which refutes the oft-stated concern that people with schizophrenia who are not clinically stable cannot engage in mHealth interventions successfully. On average, participants engaged with the mHealth program every other day. On days they engaged, they used on-demand (self-initiated) tools more than once a day.”

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Advocate Aurora Health, Foxconn Plan Employee Wellness, “Smart City,” and Precision Medicine Collaboration

Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health is partnering with Foxconn Health Technology Business Group, a Taiwanese company, to develop new technology-driven healthcare services and tools.

Healthcare Data Breach Costs Remain Highest at $408 Per Record

The cost of a data breach for healthcare organizations continues to rise, from $380 per record last year to $408 per record this year, as the healthcare industry also continues to incur the highest cost for data breaches compared to any other industry, according to a new study from IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute.

Morris Leaves ONC to Lead VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization

Genevieve Morris, who has been detailed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from her position as the principal deputy national coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services, will move over full time to lead the newly establishment VA Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization.

Cedars-Sinai Accelerator Program Presents Fourth Class of Startups

The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, a program that helps entrepreneurs bring their innovative technology products to market, has brought in nine more health tech startups as part of its fourth class.

DirectTrust Adds Five Board Members

DirectTrust, a nonprofit organization that support health information exchange, announced the appointment of five new executives to its board of directors.

Analysis: Many States Continue to Have Restrictive Telemedicine Policies

State Medicaid programs are evolving to accelerate the adoption of telemedicine models, this evolution is occurring more quickly in some states than others, according to a recent analysis by Manatt Health.