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JMIR Ment Health. 2014 Dec 23;1(1):e5. doi: 10.2196/mental.4004. eCollection 2014 Jul-Dec.

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

Author information

1
Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program Boston, MA United States ; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School Boston, MA United States.
2
General Psychiatry Residency Training Program UC Davis School of Medicine Sacramento, CA United States ; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences UC Davis School of Medicine Sacramento, CA United States.
3
Louisiana State University-Ochsner Psychiatry Residency Program Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Louisiana State University New Orleans, LA United States ; Department of Psychiatry Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, LA United States.
4
Department of Psychiatry University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Madison, WI United States.
5
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School Boston, MA United States.
6
Department of Psychiatry Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans, LA United States.
7
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences UC Davis School of Medicine Sacramento, CA United States.

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.

KEYWORDS:

mobile health; psychiatry; smartphone

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