Use of information and communication technologies among individuals with and without serious mental illness

Ziyad Abu Rahal, Limor Vadas, Iris Manor, Boaz Bloch, Avi Avital*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Growing interest surrounds the use ofinformation and communicationtechnologies(ICTs) for mental-health-related purposes, yet little is known about rates of ICT use among the psychiatric population and those withsevere mental illness. This study examinesICT accessibility among the psychiatric population, focusing on serious and non-serious mental illness (SMI and non-SMI). Patients (N = 427) from all service branches of the Psychiatry Department at Emek Medical Centerwere recruited orally or through advertisement. Responderscompleted a self-report survey regarding accessibility and use of ICTs (i.e., computer, internet, Facebook, mobile phone, smartphone). Results revealed that 59.3% of respondents used computers, 77.3% used the internet, 92.7% owned a mobile phone, 67.9% owned a smartphone, and 63% used Facebook. Over half of participants who used ICTs reported doing so at least once per day. SMI and non-SMI respondents differed significantly in their use and access to a computer, the internet, Facebook, and smartphones.Results suggest that mental illness is not a barrier to using and accessing technology;however, when differentiating between SMI and non-SMI, illness severity is a barrier to potential ICT utilization. These results may encourage policymakers to design ICTs that suit the needs of individuals withSMI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume266
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • E-mental health
  • Facebook
  • ICT
  • Internet
  • Internet-based intervention
  • Psychiatry
  • Smartphone

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