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J Med Internet Res. 2019 Nov 12;21(11):e16393. doi: 10.2196/16393.

Smartphone Apps to Support Coordinated Specialty Care for Prodromal and Early Course Schizophrenia Disorders: Systematic Review.

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1
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Demand for mental health services, especially for clinical high-risk and early psychosis, has increased, creating a need for new solutions to increase access to and quality of care. Smartphones and mobile technology are potential tools to support coordinated specialty care for early psychosis, given their potential to augment the six core roles of care: case management and team leadership, recovery-oriented psychotherapy, medication management, support for employment and education, coordination with primary care services, and family education and support. However, the services smartphones are actually offering specifically for coordinated specialty care and the level of evidence are unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to review the published literature on smartphone technology to enhance care for patients with prodromal and early course psychosis and schizophrenia and to analyze studies by type, aligned with coordinated specialty care domains.

METHODS:

A systematic literature search was conducted on August 16 and 17, 2019, using the PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Sciences, and PsycINFO electronic databases. The eligible studies were reviewed and screened based on inclusion and exclusion criteria.

RESULTS:

The search uncovered 388 unique results, of which 32 articles met the initial inclusion criteria; 21 eligible studies on 16 unique app platforms were identified. Feasibility studies showed a high user engagement and interest among patients, monitoring studies demonstrated a correlation between app assessments and clinical outcomes, and intervention studies indicated that these apps have the potential to advance care. Eighteen studies reported on app use for the case management roles of coordinated specialty care. No app studies focused on employment and education, coordination with primary care services, and family education and support.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although the published literature on smartphone apps for prodromal and first-episode psychosis is small, it is growing exponentially and holds promise to augment both monitoring and interventions. Although the research results and protocols for app studies are not well aligned with all coordinated specialty care roles today, high rates of adoption and feasibility suggest the potential for future efforts. These results will be used to develop coordinated specialty care-specific app evaluation scales and toolkits.

KEYWORDS:

app; mobile phones; schizophrenia; smartphones

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