RADAR-CNS researchers identify factors that could aid or hinder engagement with wearable devices for measurement and management of depression

A group of researchers from RADAR-CNS has published a study examining the factors that affect engagement with mobile technology for the measurement and management of depression.

A key part of the RADAR-CNS study is understanding attitudes towards mobile technology and considerations that will influence the success of the technology in real-world practice. Engagement may be a particular barrier for people with depression, as symptoms such as lack of motivation and interest to carry out activities have been shown to influence people’s behaviour. Therefore, gathering and analysing the views of people living with depression, and ensuring these are used to influence and shape the design of the technology, is vitally important for the success of RADAR-CNS.

For this study, researchers gathered views from people with experience of depression in the UK, Spain and Italy, via focus groups. Key themes relating to motivation, potential impact of mobile technology on mood and anxiety, aspects of inconvenience, and ease of use were noted across all countries. These themes will be valuable in providing guidance on ways to ensure that the team produces a product that is likely to be used by people experiencing depression.

Sara Simblett led the study and is a Postdoctoral Research Associate for RADAR-CNS. She said:  “Since the very beginning of RADAR-CNS, we have been committed to integrating the views and perspectives of people living with multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and depression into the design of the mobile technology. Each health condition is likely to present different challenges and barriers, and depression presents its own particular factors affecting motivation and engagement. This study has provided us with valuable information that will help us to produce something that really works for people in their everyday lives.”

The study was published in JMIR Mhealth Uhealth.