Digital technology together with peer support and clinical triage can detect and prevent relapse for patients with schizophrenia, according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry. John Gleeson, PhD, and colleagues conducted a multicenter, feasibility randomized controlled trial to compare Early signs Monitoring to Prevent relapse in psychosis and prOmote Well-being, Engagement, and Recovery (EMPOWER) to treatment as usual. EMPOWER includes a smartphone app for active monitoring of early warning signs, peer support to promote self-management, and clinical triage to promote relapse prevention. For the study, individuals were randomly assigned to EMPOWER or to treatment as usual. Most participants (71%) assigned to EMPOWER met the a priori criteria of more than 33% adherence to daily monitoring that assumed feasibility. In these participants, median time to discontinuation was 31.5 weeks. Reported adverse event rates were similar in the EMPOWER and treatment-as-usual groups; 13 app-related adverse events occurred, affecting 11 people, one of which was serious. At 12 months, the EMPOWER group had lower fear of relapse.
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