Patient Smartphone Ownership and Interest in Mobile Apps to Monitor Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions: A Survey in Four Geographically Distinct Psychiatric Clinics.

Citation:

Torous J, Chan SR, Yee-Marie Tan S, Behrens J, Mathew I, Conrad EJ, Hinton L, Yellowlees P, Keshavan M. Patient Smartphone Ownership and Interest in Mobile Apps to Monitor Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions: A Survey in Four Geographically Distinct Psychiatric Clinics. JMIR Ment Health 2014;1(1):e5.

Date Published:

2014 Jul-Dec

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Despite growing interest in mobile mental health and utilization of smartphone technology to monitor psychiatric symptoms, there remains a lack of knowledge both regarding patient ownership of smartphones and their interest in using such to monitor their mental health. OBJECTIVE: To provide data on psychiatric outpatients' prevalence of smartphone ownership and interest in using their smartphones to run applications to monitor their mental health. METHODS: We surveyed 320 psychiatric outpatients from four clinics around the United States in order to capture a geographically and socioeconomically diverse patient population. These comprised a state clinic in Massachusetts (n=108), a county clinic in California (n=56), a hybrid public and private clinic in Louisiana (n=50), and a private/university clinic in Wisconsin (n=106). RESULTS: Smartphone ownership and interest in utilizing such to monitor mental health varied by both clinic type and age with overall ownership of 62.5% (200/320), which is slightly higher than the average United States' rate of ownership of 58% in January 2014. Overall patient interest in utilizing smartphones to monitor symptoms was 70.6% (226/320). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that psychiatric outpatients are interested in using their smartphones to monitor their mental health and own the smartphones capable of running mental healthcare related mobile applications.