Bulgarian Journal of Psychiatry, 2021; 6(4):3-8
DIGITAL FOLLOW-UP OF PATIENTS WITH SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS – PILOT STUDY ASSESSING FEASIBILITY
Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Medical University of Varna
Abstract. Continuing care for patients with substance use disorders is often insufficient due to the relatively low share of health insurance and the lack of social support and means for outpatient treatment. Technological advances in the development of digital psychiatry and telemedicine provide solutions regarding remote medical services that require a lower level of economic and human resources. The present study aims to establish the feasibility of digital methods among addicted patients in Bulgaria. The clinical and research mobile application mindLAMP2 was used. The study included 85 patients, of whom 52 (61%) had a personal smart device. Out of them, 12 (23%) proved to have insufficient digital literacy. A total of 20 patients received access to the application on their personal smart devices for a period of 3 months. No adverse events related to the use of the tool were registered. Throughout the study, a total of 836 ecological momentary assessments were completed. We found that the digital activity is not determined by the age of the participants both in terms of the number of completed questionnaires and the length of the period of activity. Our study confirms that digital methods of follow-up are applicable for use among patients with substance use disorders in Bulgaria.
Key word: digital psychiatry, electronic monitoring, ecological momentary assessments, substance use disorder