City Research Online

Simple Mobile technology health management tool for people with severe mental illness: a randomised controlled feasibility trial

Röhricht, F., Padmanabhan, R., Binfield, P. , Mavji, D. & Barlow, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-2737-8287 (2021). Simple Mobile technology health management tool for people with severe mental illness: a randomised controlled feasibility trial. BMC Psychiatry, 21(1), article number 357. doi: 10.1186/s12888-021-03359-z


BACKGROUND: Severe mental illness (SMI) is associated with care delivery problems because of the high levels of clinical resources needed to address patient's psychosocial impairment and to support inclusion in society. Current routine appointment systems do not adequately foster recovery care and are not systematically capturing information suggestive of urgent care needs. This study aimed to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and potential clinical benefits of a mobile technology health management tool to enhance community care for people with severe mental illness.

METHODS: This randomised-controlled feasibility pilot study utilised mixed quantitative (measure on subjective quality of life as primary outcome; questionnaires on self-management skills, medication adherence scale as secondary outcomes) and qualitative (thematic analysis) methodologies. The intervention was a simple interactive technology (Short Message Service - SMS) communication system called 'Florence', and had three components: medication and appointment reminders, daily individually defined wellbeing scores and optionally coded request for additional support. Eligible participants (diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder ≥1 year) were randomised (1:1) to either treatment as usual (TAU, N = 29) or TAU and the technology-assisted intervention (N = 36).

RESULTS: Preliminary results suggest that the health technology tool appeared to offer a practicable and acceptable intervention for patients with SMI in managing their condition. Recruitment and retention data indicated feasibility, the qualitative analysis identified suggestions for further improvement of the intervention. Patients engaged well and benefited from SMS reminders and from monitoring their individual wellbeing scores; recommendations were made to further personalise the intervention. The care coordinators did not utilise aspects of the intervention per protocol due to a variety of organisational barriers. Quantitative analysis of outcomes (including a patient-reported outcome measure on subjective quality of life, self-efficacy/competence and medication adherence measures) did not identify significant changes between groups over time in favour of the Florence intervention, given high baseline scores. The wellbeing scores, however, were positively correlated with all outcome measures.

CONCLUSION: It is feasible to conduct an adequately powered full trial to evaluate this intervention. Inclusion criteria should be revised to include patients with a higher level of need and clinicians should receive more in-depth assistance in managing the tools effectively. The preliminary data suggests that this intervention can aid recovery care and individually defined wellbeing scores are highly predictive of a range of recovery outcomes; they could, therefore, guide the allocation of routine care resources.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published in BMC Psychiatry, DOI: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Publisher Keywords: Mobile health technology, Recovery care, Self-management, Severe mental illness, RCT
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Röhricht2021_Article_SimpleMobileTechnologyHealthMa.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login