Maintenance Notice

Due to necessary scheduled maintenance, the JMIR Publications website will be unavailable from Monday, March 11, 2019 at 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM EST. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Who will be affected?


Currently submitted to: Journal of Medical Internet Research

Date Submitted: Jul 15, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: Jul 18, 2019 - Sep 12, 2019
(currently open for review)

Acceptability and feasibility of a mental health mobile application to facilitate monitoring and outreach among Veterans

  • Lisa Betthauser; 
  • Kelly A. Stearns; 
  • Suzanne McGarity; 
  • Victoria Smith; 
  • Skyler Place; 
  • Lisa A. Brenner; 



Advances in mobile health (mHealth) technology have made it possible for patients and providers to monitor and track symptoms in real-time. Ideally, mHealth application (apps) would include both passive and interactive aspects of symptom monitoring.


Researchers at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Cogito Corporation sought to explore the acceptability and feasibility of such a mHealth app, the Companion System, among Veterans.


A mixed methodological approach was used to investigate acceptability and feasibility. Veterans completed clinical interviews and self-report measures at baseline and a three-month follow-up. Veterans were able to use the Companion System app for three months. Passive data monitoring and outreach also occurred during this time period.


Results suggested that use of the Companion System was feasible and acceptable. Veterans were interested in, and used, the app; however, use of the app declined over time. Nonetheless, data was passively collected, and outreach occurred throughout. On the Client Satisfaction Questionnaire, 79% of the sample reported satisfaction (M = 26.2, SD = 4.3) demonstrating acceptability. Many Veterans reported liking the app features and the sense of connection they felt with the study clinicians who monitored their symptoms. Lack of privacy was a relatively minor concern.


Feasibility and acceptability of a smartphone app to monitor mental health symptoms and follow-up in a Veteran sample was supported. Clinically, the Companion System app may serve as a useful method to promote symptom monitoring and facilitate early identification of risk and mitigation of negative psychiatric outcomes such as suicide.


Please cite as:

Betthauser L, Stearns KA, McGarity S, Smith V, Place S, Brenner LA

Acceptability and feasibility of a mental health mobile application to facilitate monitoring and outreach among Veterans

JMIR Preprints. 15/07/2019:15506

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.15506


Request queued. Please wait while the file is being generated. It may take some time.

© The authors. All rights reserved. This is a privileged document currently under peer-review/community review (or an accepted/rejected manuscript). Authors have provided JMIR Publications with an exclusive license to publish this preprint on it's website for review and ahead-of-print citation purposes only. While the final peer-reviewed paper may be licensed under a cc-by license on publication, at this stage authors and publisher expressively prohibit redistribution of this draft paper other than for review purposes.