Background: Sleep disorders and reduced physical activity are common in patients with psychosis and can be related to health-related outcomes such as symptomatology and functioning. Mobile health technologies and wearable sensor methods enable continuous and simultaneous monitoring of physical activity, sleep, and symptoms in one’s day-to-day environment. Only a few studies have applied simultaneous assessment of these parameters. Therefore, we aimed to examine the feasibility of the simultaneous monitoring of physical activity, sleep, and symptoms and functioning in psychosis.
Methods: Thirty three outpatients diagnosed with a schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder used an actigraphy watch and experience sampling method (ESM) smartphone app for 7 consecutive days to monitor physical activity, sleep, symptoms, and functioning. Participants wore the actigraphy watch during day and night and completed multiple short questionnaires (eight daily, one morning, and one evening) on their phone. Hereafter they completed evaluation questionnaires.
Results: Of the 33 patients (25 male), 32 (97.0%) used the ESM and actigraphy during the instructed timeframe. ESM response was good: 64.0% for the daily, 90.6% for morning, and 82.6% for evening questionnaire(s). Participants were positive about the use of actigraphy and ESM.
Conclusion: The combination of wrist-worn actigraphy and smartphone-based ESM is feasible and acceptable in outpatients with psychosis. These novel methods can help both clinical practice and future research to gain more valid insight into physical activity and sleep as biobehavioral markers linked to psychopathological symptoms and functioning in psychosis. This can be used to investigate relationships between these outcomes and thereby improve individualized treatment and prediction.