Schizophrenic patients validate apps and texting in study

Native smartphone applications and texting are both valuable methods of delivering real-time assessment in individuals with schizophrenia, according to an article in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

In a study, 24 community-based patients with schizophrenia or related disorders were randomly allocated to complete six days of assessment (four sets of questions per day) with a native smartphone app. The objective of the study was to compare these two different delivery modalities of the same diagnostic assessment for individuals with non-affective psychosis.

The study concludes that "both forms of technology were deemed acceptable and well integrated and may represent suitable methods for facilitating real-time assessment."

Nevertheless, the article finds that a "more streamlined graphical user interface" may lead to better compliance and shorter entry times, and that further research would be needed to test the service within clinical services. 

Although there were no significant differences in participants' quantitative feedback for the two delivery methods, the article states that most participants preferred the native smartphone app because it was easier to use.

"Limitations of this study include the relatively modest length of the sampling procedure and moderate rates of nonparticipation by those approached to take part," according to the article. "In the future, it will be important to upload software applications onto individual's own phone rather than issuing them with an additional device."

In related news, a cross-platform mobile health app created by a bipolar patient and endorsed by the International Bipolar Foundation is now available in the App Store and Android Marketplace to help people who suffer from mood disorders to track their feelings in order to better understand behavioral patterns. 

By using Mood Watch, users can rate their anxiety level, mood, level of calmness, focus/mindfulness and energy level three times a day. At the end of the week, a report can be generated detailing all the information entered using the app. 

To learn more:
- read the journal article

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