Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mobile App May Improve Mood, Motivation in Young People With Schizophrenia

Regular use of a mobile-based intervention may benefit young people with recent-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders by improving their mood and motivation, according to a small study published in Schizophrenia Bulletin.

For the study, Danielle A. Schlosser, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues recruited people aged 16 to 36 who had received a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizophreniform, or schizoaffective disorder within the past five years. A total of 43 participants were randomly assigned to use a mobile intervention called PRIME (personalized real-time intervention for motivational enhancement) or to a wait-list group for 12 weeks. PRIME is a mobile app through which participants work toward self-identified goals (in areas of health and wellness, social relationships, and more) with the support of a virtual community of age-matched peers with schizophrenia spectrum disorders as well as motivation coaches. Participants in the PRIME group were encouraged to use the app daily, whether it be to message with coaches and/or peers or complete challenges.

Compared with the participants in the wait-list group, those who used PRIME experienced significant improvements in depression, defeatist beliefs, self-efficacy, and components of motivation, such as reward learning and anticipated pleasure. Over a 12-week period, participants were highly engaged in the platform, the authors reported. On average, participants logged in over four days/week and 5,152 direct messages were sent from participants to coaches. In terms of peer-to-peer interactions, participants initiated interactions with each other a total of 497 times.

“Many participants noted that it was the first time they had seen or interacted with other young people with an SSD [schizophrenia spectrum disorder], and they particularly appreciated being able to have on-demand coaching, as demonstrated by the qualitative feedback and this feature being rated as the most satisfying,” Schlosser and colleagues wrote. “[P]RIME may act as an important adjunctive intervention to treatment approaches that are usually more focused on treating the positive psychotic symptoms and offer a more holistic approach to improving outcomes for people with an SSD.”

(Image: iStock/milindri)


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