mPeer: A Mobile Health Approach to Monitoring PTSD in Veterans
More than 2.2 million US service members have seen deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade. As the number of veterans returning home has increased, the need for new and innovative approaches to the variety and severity of mental health issues experienced after deployment remains a national priority. Affecting between 15-20\% of the veteran population and largely treatment resistant, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) poses a challenging problem for the mental health community. Recent veteran related studies have suggested a paradigm shift in conceptualizing PTSD in terms of specific high-risk behaviors rather than traditional symptoms. Young and technology savvy, many veteran populations are uniquely poised to embrace mobile health (mHealth) approaches to monitoring and addressing health related issues. In this thesis, we document the design and implementation of a smartphone-based system that coordinates the collection of data potentially relevant for monitoring high-risk behavior in veterans. We describe the details of an unobtrusive smartphone application for the Android platform that collects data from a variety of smartphone sensors and administers daily self-report questionnaires. Finally, we confirm system performance with data from student volunteers.