Study finds phone app as effective as conventional methods in treating mental disorders

Study finds phone app as effective as conventional methods in treating mental disorders

The rampant use of smartphone can increase the risk of developing various mental health conditions, say experts and some studies. However, a recent study has suggested that the use of phone apps can help in treating patients suffering from mental disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar and major depression. According to the study published in the Psychiatric Services in May 2018, a smartphone program was as effective as any other medical intervention in treating patients suffering from mental illness.

In an effort to gauge the higher efficiency between the mobile health approach and conventional treatment method, the researchers conducted a three-month randomized study involving 163 patients suffering from schizophrenia (49 percent), bipolar disorder (28 percent) and major depressive disorder (23 percent). The participants were divided into two groups – one group was assigned a smartphone app, while another was treated with clinical intervention that included at one group therapy session.

Surprisingly, while 90 percent of the patients assigned to smartphone program were identified to commence the treatment compared to 58 percent who were treated the traditional way. These outcomes did not suggest any major difference in terms of quality of clinical recovery from the mental disorder, but highlighted that “we may lose close to half of our patients when we ask them to come to a clinic,” said Dror Ben-Zeev, the lead author of the study.

During the study, the author observed that while 56 percent of the participants using the mobile app completed their eight-week or longer program, only 40 percent of the patients who were treated with clinical-based program completed the treatment duration.

Time to break the shackles of stigma

The fact that only a limited number of patients with conventional treatment completed the medical intervention suggests the hesitation and fear that persist among the people regarding seeking help for mental illnesses. The associated stigma attached to mental disorders prevents people from seeking help. As a result, despite the advancements, awareness and education, a majority of the people shy away from seeking treatment for their mental disorders.

As per the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly one in five adult in the United States suffers from a mental disorder in a given year. This constitutes for approximately 43.8 million or 18.5 percent of the total population.

However, a majority of the people keep their mental disorder a clandestine affair and tend to self-medicate with alcohol, illicit drug or home remedies to deal with the symptoms, which further worsens the condition. Besides, there are also many people who are not able to seek professional help due to lack of facilities and affordable treatment.

Importance of seeking traditional treatment

Given the scenario where people are reluctant to seek medical help owing to the social stigma, smartphone apps that help in treating mental disorder are undoubtedly the need of the hour. However, mobile apps alone may not be able to offer the complete recovery and stability that traditional treatments do, especially for a condition like schizophrenia that is understood by only a few people. Hence, it is important to seek treatment from schizophrenia treatment centers as they have trained professionals to help patients recover with efficiency and ease.

If you are looking for treatment centers for schizophrenia, contact Sovereign Health. It provides effective treatment and recovery programs for schizophrenia. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with our experts for more information on our state-of-the-art schizophrenia treatment centers.

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