Year of Publication

2016

Date of Thesis

11-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Occupational Therapy

Subject Categories

Occupational therapy; Mental illness; Self-help devices for people with disabilities

Abstract

Mental illness affects roughly 1 in 5 college students in the United States and this number is growing according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI, n.d.; NAMI, 2012). There is an increased need for ways for people with DMDs to receive help in carrying out their everyday responsibilities and occupations. The college environment can be overwhelming for someone with a diagnosed mental disorder. Smart phones, cell phones, and tablets are technologies that people aged 18-24 utilize on a daily basis, which may offer a suitable resource to help them to manage their diagnosed mental disorder. There currently exists little research in the area of smart phone, cell phone, and tablet technology and how it is used to support college-aged students with DMDs, despite the increasing prevalence of such technologies in our society. Using an anonymous survey distributed to students on a college campus, the purpose of this study was to explore how college students with DMDs currently use and would like to be using everyday technology such as smartphones, cellphones and tablets to help them navigate their disorder and the cognitive disabilities that oftentimes accompany mental disorders. The results indicate that college students utilize their smartphones, cellphones, and tablets heavily for functions such as email, social media, and text messaging, and that they would like to be using these technologies to: record voice notes, track medications, manage or track their symptoms, relieve stress, and for health and fitness goals.

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