Development and Usability Testing of SOMO, a Mobile-Based Application to Monitor Social Functioning for Youth at Clinical High-Risk for Psychosis

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Published Jun 8, 2020
Olga Santesteban-Echarri https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2677-6125 Jacky Tang Jaydon Fernandes Jean Addington

Abstract

Background: Youth at clinical high-risk (CHR) for developing psychosis are characterized by long-standing social deficits and isolation compared to healthy youth. Because poor social functioning is predictive of transition to psychosis, it is important to monitor its fluctuations.

Objective: To describe the development of a mobile application to monitor social functioning for CHR youth.

Methods: App development was divided in two phases. In Phase 1, three focus groups with up to 10 CHR participants were conducted to discuss (i) content, (ii) graphic design, and (iii) user experience of the app. A working prototype was developed, debugged, and systematically tested by developers. In Phase 2, 13 participants evaluated the app through a usability testing for one week. Feedback was gathered through the 23-item Mobile Application Rating Scale user-version (uMARS). Focus groups and MARS’ qualitative data were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed through an inductive approach.

Results: The app was named SOMO and incorporated five features: 1) home screen; 2) goal setting; 3) 13 daily questions; 4) a calendar; and 5) feedback.  The application monitored number of daily in-person and online interactions, meaningfulness and time spent with each person, conflict and conflict resolution, activities performed, subjective perception of socialization, and loneliness. SOMO received a good overall score in the uMARS, with an excellent score in functionality; followed by good scores in information, aesthetics, and safety; and adequate scores for subjective quality, and engagement.

Conclusion: Co-design with youth through focus groups provided effective feedback for developing SOMO, which demonstrated initial usability and acceptability.

How to Cite

Santesteban-Echarri, O., Tang, J., Fernandes, J., & Addington, J. (2020). Development and Usability Testing of SOMO, a Mobile-Based Application to Monitor Social Functioning for Youth at Clinical High-Risk for Psychosis. Digital Psychology, 1(1), 4-19. https://doi.org/10.24989/dp.v1i1.1806

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Keywords

mobile health, smartphone, at-risk, psychosis, youth, application, functioning

Section
Original Article