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Healthcare 2015, 3(3), 556-573; doi:10.3390/healthcare3030556

The Promises and Challenges of Ecological Momentary Assessment in Schizophrenia: Development of an Initial Experimental Protocol

1
Butler Hospital and Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, 345 Blackstone Blvd., Providence, RI 02906, USA
2
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Box G-BH, Providence, RI 02912, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard H. Beinecke
Received: 27 March 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 9 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [225 KB, uploaded 15 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

Severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and other psychotic-spectrum disorders, are a major cause of disability worldwide. Although efficacious pharmacological and psychosocial interventions have been developed for treating patients with schizophrenia, relapse rates are high and long-term recovery remains elusive for many individuals. Furthermore, little is still known about the underlying mechanisms of these illnesses. Thus, there is an urgent need to better understand the contextual factors that contribute to psychosis so that they can be better targeted in future interventions. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) is a dynamic procedure that permits the measurement of variables in natural settings in real-time through the use of brief assessments delivered via mobile electronic devices (i.e., smartphones). One advantage of EMA is that it is less subject to retrospective memory biases and highly sensitive to fluctuating environmental factors. In the current article, we describe the research-to-date using EMA to better understand fluctuating symptoms and functioning in patients with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders and potential applications to treatment. In addition, we describe a novel EMA protocol that we have been employing to study the outcomes of patients with schizophrenia following a hospital discharge. We also report the lessons we have learned thus far using EMA methods in this challenging clinical population. View Full-Text
Keywords: schizophrenia; severe mental illness; psychosis; treatment adherence; ecological momentary assessment; experience sampling methods; mobile technology; smartphones; psychological assessment; psychiatric hospitalization schizophrenia; severe mental illness; psychosis; treatment adherence; ecological momentary assessment; experience sampling methods; mobile technology; smartphones; psychological assessment; psychiatric hospitalization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gaudiano, B.A.; Moitra, E.; Ellenberg, S.; Armey, M.F. The Promises and Challenges of Ecological Momentary Assessment in Schizophrenia: Development of an Initial Experimental Protocol. Healthcare 2015, 3, 556-573.

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