Ecological Momentary Interventions in Psychiatry

Poster B111, Friday, October 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Inez Myin-Germeys1, Henrietta Steinhart1,2, Thomas Vaessen1,2, Tim Batink2; 1KU Leuven, Center for Contextual Psychiatry, 2Maastricht University

Ecological Momentary Interventions adopt mobile devices, such as PDAs or smartphones, for the delivery of treatments in the daily life of patients. In this paper, I will discuss feasibility, content, and where possible efficacy of Ecological Momentary Interventions (EMIs) in psychiatry. I will also outline a generic, transdiagnostic EMI, which is being developed for the treatment of individuals at risk for psychosis. The few studies that are available all underscore feasibility and acceptability of mHealth approaches in patients with severe mental illness. In terms of content, there is a huge variety in approaches ranging from a mixture of face-to-face contacts augmented with EMI components to a fully automated EMI. With regard to efficacy, only 2 RCTs have been conducted, supporting the efficacy of EMIs in mental Health. Evidence seems to point towards greater efficacy when EMI is integrated with real-life assessment using experience sampling methodology, preferentially tailoring the intervention towards the specific needs of the individual as well as towards those moments when intervention is needed. This review demonstrates that mHealth may be an important asset to the mental health field but underscores that it still is in its very early ages. In the discussion, we outline how EMI can contribute to intervention in the early stages of illness. Furthermore, we will point towards ways of improving EMIs for mental illness, changing our perspective from testing feasibility to testing efficacy and ultimately implementing EMIs in routine mental health services.

Topic Area: Psychosocial Interventions

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