People using the EMPOWER App in our study will be prompted to respond to a set of questions once a day. These questions will relate to things which evidence suggests can indicate early warning signs of psychosis.
People will be asked to respond to at least one question in each of the domains shown. You can see the questions here.
Each time someone responds to a set of questions through the App an EMPOWER message is generated. These messages are intended to help people have a greater sense of control over their mental health and wellbeing and to support self-management. Messages are designed to be encouraging and could provide, for example, links to further information, practical advice or helpful quotes related to each of the topics covered in the App.
Information entered into the App is compared to a personal baseline score. This helps us understand if there are any potential early warning signs of psychosis. There are three possible responses at this stage. If there has been no notable change then a general EMPOWER message is shared. If there is a low level change in score then the message generated by the App will be specific to the area where there has been a change. For example if there is an indication that there has been a change linked with mood then the message would be focused on that area.
If there is a higher level change then an alert will be raised with the research team who will take further action designed to help the person using the App to stay well by intervening early. This could include contacting that person, a close family carer or a designated mental health professional.
Ultimately our goal with EMPOWER is to enhance control for people with experiences of psychosis. One aspect of this is the facility for people to view charts which show how things have been changing for them over time. We believe this sort of information can help people identify patterns and may suggest areas to focus on to support staying well. They may choose to share these charts with other people who offer them support.