Smartphone Intervention Feasible for Severe Mental Illness

Large effect sizes seen for Beck Depression Inventory, Recovery Assessment Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale

MONDAY, Nov. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For patients with severe mental illness (SMI), a smartphone intervention is highly usable and acceptable and improves outcomes, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Dror Ben-Zeev, Ph.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a trial of CORE, a smartphone intervention that includes daily exercises designed to promote reassessment of dysfunctional beliefs. A total of 315 individuals from 45 states were randomly assigned to either active intervention or wait-list control groups. Participants were assessed at baseline, 30 days, and 60 days with 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 displayed moderate-to-severe symptoms and disability levels at baseline. The researchers found that CORE was rated as acceptable and highly usable. Significant treatment-by-time interactions were seen for the BDI-II, GAD-7, RAS, RSES, and SDS in intent-to-treat analyses. Large effect sizes were seen for the BDI-II, RAS, and RSES, while the SDS had a moderate effect size and a small effect size was seen for GAD-7. Following cross-over of wait-list controls to CORE, similar changes in outcome measures were observed.

“New scientific evidence showing that remotely-accessed mobile health technologies such as CORE can be navigable and beneficial to people with SMI is very encouraging,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and technology industries.

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