Background: Individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) are increasingly turning to smartphone applications (apps) for health information and self-management support. While reviews have raised concerns regarding the effectiveness and safety of publicly available apps for BD, apps surveyed may not reflect what individuals with BD are using. The present study had two aims: first, to characterize the use of health apps to support mood and sleep amongst people with BD, and second, to evaluate the quality, safety and functionality of the most commonly used self-management apps.
Conclusion: Findings illustrate the potential of smartphone apps to increase the reach of psychosocial interventions amongst people with BD. Apps were largely created by commercial developers and designed for the general population, highlighting a gap in the development and dissemination of evidence-informed apps for BD. There may be risks in using generic health apps for BD self-management; clinicians should enquire about patients' app use to foster conversations about their particular benefits and limitations.
Keywords: Apps; Bipolar disorder; Self-management; Self-monitoring; mHealth.
© 2022. The Author(s).