Optimizing Mental Health Care by Increasing Access Services through Evidenced-based mHealth Applications


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BACKGROUND: The COVID pandemic disrupted mental health services leading to an increased need for mental health support. Nearly half of all adults in the United States have reported a rise in feelings of anxiety. There is a mental health workforce shortage, impacting available treatment services. mHealth applications can bridge the gap in the availability of services and improve health outcomes through education, social support, self-managed care, and patient-provider communication. PURPOSE: The purpose is to optimize mental health care and access to services by leveraging mHealth applications. METHODS: Third-party stakeholders sent a Qualtrics© survey to all adult participants on campus. Participants needed regular access to a smartphone and no previous experience with the Sanvello© smartphone application. The participants self-enrolled, providing consent, demographic information, and responses to the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 (GAD-7) instrument. Afterward, participants received download and use instructions for the Sanvello© application. Upon completion of the project, participants were surveyed for perceptions of use and GAD-7. RESULTS: Fifty members of the college (39 female, 10 male, 1 non-binary-third gender) of whom were 18-60 years old participated. Pre-intervention data reported an aggregate GAD-7 of 18.96, indicating high anxiety levels and a resource gap. Most stated use of the application less than once a week, with 50% of participants indicating the mHealth application improved access to mental health care services. Post-intervention GAD-7 aggregate data was 15.52, with a reduction from baseline data by 18%. Deductive and inductive thematic analysis reduced data to four dominant themes: ease of use, time, technical functionality, and engagement in the use of the application. CONCLUSION: Providing care through technological tools such as mHealth applications can reform access to mental health services while delivering evidence-based care. This use of technology permits greater flexibility for patients and mental health care providers while optimizing access to mental health services.


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Barbara Laganiere

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Submission Details

Conference GRC
Event Graduate Research Conference
Department Nursing (GRC)
Group Poster Presentation
Added April 1, 2022, 7:33 p.m.
Updated April 1, 2022, 7:34 p.m.
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