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Young AS, Cohen AN, Niv N, Nowlin-Finch N, Oberman RS, Olmos-Ochoa TT, Goldberg RW, Whelan F. Mobile Phone and Smartphone Use by People With Serious Mental Illness. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2020 Mar 1; 71(3):280-283.
OBJECTIVE: Mobile technologies, such as smartphones, can improve health services by delivering assessments and interventions that reach people in their daily lives. There is, however, disagreement regarding whether people with serious mental illness make meaningful use of mobile technology and whether interventions that rely on mobile technology should be tailored for this population. METHODS: At two clinics, 249 people with serious mental illness were interviewed regarding mobile phone use, and their cognitive functioning was assessed. RESULTS: Mobile phones were used by 86% of participants, including 60% who used a smartphone. Phones were used for messaging by 81%, Internet by 52%, e-mail by 46%, and applications by 45%. Individuals who were older, had a persistent psychotic disorder rather than bipolar disorder, received disability income, or had worse neurocognitive functioning were less likely to own a smartphone (? = 52.7, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Most patients with serious mental illness owned a mobile phone; a majority owned a smartphone. Developers should consider tailoring mobile interventions for psychosis and cognitive deficits.