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Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2018 Jul;28(5):832-863. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2015.1106954. Epub 2015 Nov 17.

Use of a mobile device in mental health rehabilitation: A clinical and comprehensive analysis of 11 cases.

Author information

a School of Rehabilitation , University of Montreal , Montreal , Quebec.
b Research Centre of the Montreal Mental Health University Institute , Montreal , Quebec.
c AFIRM team , University Joseph Fourier (UJF) , Grenoble , France.


This study aimed to test the feasibility of using a mobile device (Apple technology: iPodTouch®, iPhone® or iPad®) among people with severe mental illness (SMI) in a rehabilitation and recovery process and to document the parameters to be taken into account and the issues involved in implementing this technology in living environments and mental health care settings. A qualitative multiple case study design and multiple data sources were used to understand each case in depth. A clinical and comprehensive analysis of 11 cases was conducted with exploratory and descriptive aims (and the beginnings of explanation building). The multiple-case analysis brought out four typical profiles to illustrate the extent of integration of a personal digital assistant (PDA) as a tool to support mental health rehabilitation and recovery. Each profile highlights four categories of variables identified as determining factors in this process: (1) state of health and related difficulties (cognitive or functional); (2) relationship between comfort level with technology, motivation and personal effort deployed; (3) relationship between support required and support received; and (4) the living environment and follow-up context. This study allowed us to consider the contexts and conditions to be put in place for the successful integration of mobile technology in a mental health rehabilitation and recovery process.


Assistive technology; Mobile device; Personal digital assistant; Rehabilitation; Severe mental illness

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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