Enhancing behavioral health treatment and crisis management through mobile ecological momentary assessment and SMS messaging

Health Informatics J. 2012 Dec;18(4):294-308. doi: 10.1177/1460458212445349.


Many veterans returning from service in Afghanistan or Iraq suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or mild traumatic brain injury. Treating these conditions can be challenging because of high rates of relapse and associated memory impairments. We report on a pilot study that assessed the utility of mobile health (mHealth) technologies, including personal digital assistant-based ecological momentary assessment and two-way interactive text (SMS) messaging, for providing treatment feedback to clinicians, encouraging and motivating veterans throughout treatment, and monitoring participants for relapse after treatment discharge. The results of the pilot suggest that mHealth technologies are feasible adjuncts to traditional mental treatment in the veteran population. Additional work is needed to establish the degree of clinical and economic value.

MeSH terms

  • Afghan Campaign 2001-
  • Cell Phone*
  • Computers, Handheld
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Disaster Planning / standards*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Feedback, Psychological
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011
  • Mental Health Services
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Patient Discharge
  • Pilot Projects
  • Remote Consultation / methods*
  • Text Messaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Veterans / psychology
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data