Current Position Information
Fellow, UPMC Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Scholarly Research Project
Development of a SmartPhone Application for Patient Self-Management of Depression
Michael W. Wong, DO
Depression is a common issue in primary care. At the UPMC Shadyside Family Health Center (SFHC) 25% of patients screen positive for depression. Research shows about 50% of primary care patients discontinue antidepressant treatment prematurely. Thus, engaging patients in treatment is fundamentally important. Response from a prior focus group gauging FHC patient and physician attitudes toward utilizing a smartphone application for this purpose was favorable. This project sought to develop a prototype “app” tailored to the needs of patients to improve the quality of care.
A prototype smartphone application was developed based on past feedback provided by patients and physicians during small focus groups. The app included information and resources for patients, a symptom severity questionnaire (PHQ-9), a link to schedule a follow-up appointment and a link to an online treatment program. It was provided to two groups for testing: patients diagnosed with depression and physicians within the practice. Each completed a survey to rate their satisfaction with the application in key areas on a scale from 1 (lowest satisfaction) to 5 (highest).
The app will be demonstrated. Patient and physician responses to the satisfaction surveys were collected and analyzed. Levels of satisfaction in each group will be reported.
A customized FHC smartphone application for self-management and of depression shows promise and is worthy of continued development as a potentially useful part of treatment for interested patients. Additional development is necessary to improve its utility to engage patients in the treatment of depression.