Momentum: A Smartphone Application to Support Shared Decision Making for People Using Mental Health Services

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Objective: The aim of the pilot study was to examine the use of a smartphone application as a modern decision aid to support shared decision making in mental health. Method: 78 people using mental health services and 116 of their providers participated in a 4-month pilot study. At the end of the intervention, we conducted 3 focus group interviews with 12 multidisciplinary staff members, 1 focus group interview with doctors, and 7 individual interviews with consumers. Each interview was recorded and systematically reviewed to identify common themes and both similar and different traits between respondents through a process of induction. Results: Consumers and providers found the application a useful tool to support people in recovery in providing an overview and setting an agenda. However, the pilot study found more technological obstacles to its use. Some results indicate an obstacle perhaps relating to the power asymmetry between people using mental health services and staff. Contrary to our hypothesis that peer support would be crucial, the use of the application was most widespread when it was presented to consumers by providers who found it was a useful tool. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: The results indicate the relevance of using modern technology to support shared decision making (SDM) and the recovery model, though raise the question of how the actual use in the study is to be understood. The study thereby points to a need of further research into the understanding of the central consumer-provider relationship in SDM and in how decision aids are presented.

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