The ACTISSIST app helps people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia
With the world becoming more aware of mental ill health, there is an ever-greater need for effective and reliable therapy. ACTISSIST is a new app developed at The University of Manchester to provide therapy on-the-move for those with severe mental illness.
Severe mental illness (SMI) such as schizophrenia affects about 1 in 100 of people during their lifetime. It is an illness that can be very restrictive on an individual’s life; outcome between individuals varies considerably and it is associated with premature mortality.
The onset of schizophrenia typically occurs in early adulthood; 80% of people relapse within 5-years of onset, resulting in unscheduled acute care and adverse effects on psychosocial development.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the treatment and management of people with schizophrenia recommends cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) as a first-line treatment for psychosis.
The quality and accessibility to CBT for psychosis is highly variable and poor in many service settings, resulting in psychosis relapse indicators that are either missed or treated too late.
There is an urgent need to harness improved self-management and the delivery of appropriate treatment to prevent a further deterioration of an individual’s illness. Smartphone technology provides an opportunity to revolutionise healthcare by driving improvements in quality, efficiency and access.
ACTISSIST is a software package developed at The University of Manchester that promotes self-management, and delivers a timely, efficient and personalized treatment for SMI.
Using experience-based design with end-users, the team based at the University has developed ACTISSIST to deliver a CBT-based intervention at the point-of-need and in the context of a person’s own environment.
The team’s research has shown that patients can complete the intervention quickly in the course of daily life over a 12-week period and that this technology is feasible, safe and acceptable to patients. The team is currently trialling the efficacy of ACTISSIST in people with psychosis.
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