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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; 

ABSTRACT

Background:

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.

Objective:

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.

Methods:

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:

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.

Conclusions:

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.


 Citation

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

URL: https://preprints.jmir.org/preprint/15506


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