Officials at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) recently published new survey results that suggest people who have schizophrenia are able to use digital technology to improve how they cope and recover from the disorder.
The survey, which showed there is no difference in the usage of technology between the general population and people living with schizophrenia, analyzed an article from JMIR Mental Health titled “Digital Technology Use Among Individuals with Schizophrenia: Results from a NAMI Survey.”
According to the research, 90 percent of people living with schizophrenia in the survey claimed ownership of more than just one digital device. These devices include tablets, personal computers and smartphones.
In the survey, 54 percent of the participants could easily access their smartphones. This figure is similar to 64 percent of the general American population with easy access to smartphones.
"Individuals living with schizophrenia may face a double stigma when using digital devices," officials said in the study. "Beyond the stigma often associated with schizophrenia itself, there may be bias that those living with schizophrenia do not own, cannot use, are not interested in, or will become more paranoid and agitated when using technologies like mobile phones."
Many of the survey participants reported using their devices to deal with their mental illness. Approximately 42 percent used music or audio files to block or manage their auditory hallucinations. Another 38 percent researched health information using the Internet; 37 percent used calendar reminders; 28 percent used technology for medication management; 26 percent improved relationships with other people who have schizophrenia; and another 26 percent used the technology to support others.