The novel mobile application App4Independence may be a feasible solution to improve self-management in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, according to study results published in PLOS ONE.
The researchers evaluated the feasibility of the app in 38 patients with a primary psychosis at a large urban center in Canada. Mean patient age was 31.4 years; 63% had a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia, and 71% identified as male. Pre- and post-assessments included psychiatric symptoms, medication compliance, and personal recovery over a 1-month period. Application metrics were analyzed using qualitative feedback obtained from semi-structured interviews with those in the study. The results were reported in accordance with the World Health Organization mHealth Evidence and Assessment checklist.
After analysis, the researchers observed significant improvements in depression (Cohen’s d, 0.42; P =.001), obsessive compulsive (d, 0.38; P =.01), paranoid ideation (d, 0.29; P =.009), phobic anxiety (d, 0.23; P =.02), psychoticism (d, 0.22; P =.04), and interpersonal sensitivity (d, 0.18; P =.04). In patients, classic retention on the application platform was 52.5% and no research attrition was reported.
Study limitations included a lack of a control condition and a small sample size.
“Satisfaction with the app was high and qualitative feedback provided insights regarding feature enhancements,” the researchers wrote.
“[App4Independence] is a technology that is ready to move on to clinical trial and validation testing,” they concluded.
Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.
Kidd SA, Feldcamp L, Adler A, et al. Feasibility and outcomes of a multi-function mobile health approach for the schizophrenia spectrum: App4Independence (A4i). PLoS One. 2019;14(7):e0219491.