OJN  Vol.7 No.7 , July 2017
Collaborating with Young Adults Diagnosed with Schizophrenia: A Participatory Design Study to Shape the Healthcare System
Abstract: Introduction: Disengagement from mental health services in young adults with schizophrenia has been associated with dissatisfaction and unmet needs. Striving to improve engagement, we invited service users recently diagnosed with schizophrenia to be co-designers of a smartphone technology that will be responsive to their needs. Aim: This paper reports the first phase of a three-phased participatory design process. The objective was to identify needs of support in young adults recently diagnosed with schizophrenia and to generate ideas of how the needs could be accommodated using smartphone technology. Methods: Participatory design guided the research process and a qualitative approach was used to generate and analyse the data. Data were generated by means of participant observations (n = 45 hours) and interviews (n = 6) with young adults from a first episode psychosis program in Denmark. Findings: Low levels of knowledge and high levels of uncertainties are characteristic of young adults recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, bringing about a vast need of support in order for them to gain power over their new life situation. Our study suggests that the smartphone may be used to foster empowerment by guiding the young adult’s actions in situ, providing comprehensive and easily understood information on the go, allowing for recovery tracking, and notification of mental health changes, providing medication overview and giving easy access to healthcare providers. Conclusion: Young adults recently diagnosed with schizophrenia require comprehensive support in order to become empowered to confidently manage their new life situation. The smartphone holds this potential by offering flexible collaboration and timely access to self-management resources
Cite this paper: Terp, M. , D. Bjørnes, C. , Jørgensen, R. , Mainz, J. and Laursen, B. (2017) Collaborating with Young Adults Diagnosed with Schizophrenia: A Participatory Design Study to Shape the Healthcare System. Open Journal of Nursing, 7, 743-758. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2017.77056.

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