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Reducing Polypharmacy with Mobile Apps Among Mental Health Patients

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Polypharmacy among psychiatric patients is a concerning trend. From 2007-2010, 58.2% of women and 41.8% of men reported taking five or more prescription drugs within the last 30 days (CDC, 2014). Negative outcomes include prescription drug abuse, side effects, interactions,

Polypharmacy among psychiatric patients is a concerning trend. From 2007-2010, 58.2% of women and 41.8% of men reported taking five or more prescription drugs within the last 30 days (CDC, 2014). Negative outcomes include prescription drug abuse, side effects, interactions, treatment failure, patient dissatisfaction, and lack of treatment control. The associated practice challenges have led to the following PICOT question. In persons with mental health issues receiving care at an outpatient mental health clinic, does engaging in mindfulness practice versus no mindfulness practice change polypharmacy use over a 3-month period?

The project purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of Insight Timer mobile mindfulness app at helping patients self-manage distressing symptoms and reduce polypharmacy. Over three weeks, mental health clinic nurse practitioners (NPs) voluntarily recruited patients (n=12) over age 18 using as needed prescriptions (PRNs), and agreed to use Insight Timer mobile mindfulness app for adjunct symptom management. Consenting participants downloaded the mobile app, and completed a brief questionnaire measuring PRN use at the start of app use, and PRN use at their next visit. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test indicated a 10-week mindfulness app trial did not significantly lower total PRN doses compared with pre-app dosing (Z = -.534, p = .593). Paired t-tests revealed no significant change in pre (M = 65.17, SD = 28.64) versus post (M = 67.75, SD = 20.22) OQ45 life functionality results (t(11) = -.420, p = .683) (d = .121) as a result of app use.

Clinically relevant results illustrated 83.33% of participants taking greater than nine PRN doses over the study period used the app six times or more in place of medication. High PRN users employed the app frequently in place of medication regardless of total PRN doses taken. Practice implications and sustainability recommendations include incorporating mobile app use in treatment plans for high PRN users and educating NP’s on the tangible benefits of mindfulness apps in reducing polypharmacy and easing symptom distress on an ongoing basis.
Keywords: mindfulness, mhealth, mobile apps, mobile smart phone, online, RCT, behavior change, polypharmacy.

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2019-04-29

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Self-Help Mindfulness Group to Increase Mindfulness and Improve Stress Management in Those with Substance Use Disorders

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Stress is the direct source of some health issues and the precursors to many illnesses. The effects of stress are felt by the majority of the population and is usually undertreated or overlooked as a norm of life rather than

Stress is the direct source of some health issues and the precursors to many illnesses. The effects of stress are felt by the majority of the population and is usually undertreated or overlooked as a norm of life rather than a potential source of illness. Though everyone has different thresholds of stress, chronic or constant stress is debilitating for some and can manifest itself in limitless ways. For adults with substance use disorders (SUDs), research supports that mindfulness based interventions (MBIs) could be beneficial for stress management. The techniques incorporated in mindfulness based practices can decrease the baseline stress of its practitioners by increasing their awareness and mindfulness within daily life and during stressful situations.

This increase in awareness and mindfulness has shown numerous benefits that may be crucial in increasing the likelihood of sobriety for those with SUDs. Some of these benefits may include, improved stress management, improved mitigation of craving symptoms, reduced incidences of relapse, and a better quality of life. A 4-week self-help mindfulness pilot program was conducted twice within two separate residential substance recovery settings. The participant’s satisfaction and the internalization of mindfulness concepts were measured within the pre and post implementation of a self-help mindfulness class. In the pilot program, participants rated high satisfaction of the mindfulness class and showed increased levels of mindfulness through the use of the client satisfaction questionnaire (CSQ-8) and the five facets of mindfulness questionnaire (FFMQ-39).

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2018-05-01

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The Effects of mindfulness on Depression and Anxiety

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Depression and anxiety are common and debilitating illnesses that negatively impact personal well-being and functioning. The effects of depression and anxiety not only affect the individual, but also peers, family, the community, economy, and even the health care system. Pharmacological

Depression and anxiety are common and debilitating illnesses that negatively impact personal well-being and functioning. The effects of depression and anxiety not only affect the individual, but also peers, family, the community, economy, and even the health care system. Pharmacological therapy is a first line treatment for depression and anxiety, but the risk for relapse remains. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) are treatments that have demonstrated effectiveness in treating depression. The evidence suggests that both therapies are successful in terms of reducing depressive symptoms, but most effective when combined. Further, evidence shows that the combination of MBCT and traditional pharmacological therapy provides relief from depressive symptoms and lengthens the amount of time between recurrent episodes and improves the quality of life. A project was implemented at an integrated health clinic to evaluate the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The results revealed that practicing mindfulness was statistically and clinically significant in reducing depression and anxiety. In addition, mindfulness scores increased over 30 day application of the intervention. The results demonstrated the value of utilizing mindfulness as a cost-effective therapy in addition to pharmacological treatment to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as improve mindfulness. The ease of use demonstrated the value of mindfulness and self-directed skills aimed at improving wellness, reducing depression and anxiety which will result in the improvement of individual, economic, healthcare system, and community health.

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2018-04-28