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Text-Messaging Helps the Mentally Ill

Jul 28, 2020 by CenTrial

Text-messaging provides positive support to the mentally ill

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted so many things, not the least of which is access to therapists for the mentally ill.

A new clinical trial has concluded that text-messaging intervention can be a feasible tool to help in caring for the seriously mentally ill.

94% of the trial participants said it made them feel better and 87% would recommend it to a friend.

"This study is very exciting because we saw real improvement in those who utilized the text messaging-based intervention on top of normal care. This was true for individuals with some of the most serious forms of mental illness," explained co-author, William J. Hudenko, a research assistant professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth, and an adjunct assistant professor of clinical psychology in Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine.

The pilot study spanned three months and had 49 participants who had mental problems that included schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression.

More than 12,000 messages were sent out by licensed mental health clinicians who sent an average of four texts per day. Participants sent about 165 texts and received 158 or more messages.

The protocol was found to be safe and zero adverse events were reported.

Due to the success of the initial trial, researchers are planning a study on a much larger scale.

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