Around 8% of the US population will experience a traumatic event and have PTSD at some point in their lives.
That probably doesn’t seem like a lot but there are around 8 million people walking around the country this year quietly dealing with this important condition. Not to mention the compounded effects of PTSD on an individual’s family, friends and coworkers.
With our deep experience in collecting and making sense of patient-generated data and the VA’s excellence in designing mobile health research studies, it was worth a shot.
We put together a proposal and made it all the way to the final round (thank you RWJF, Luminary Labs and Apple for your support).
We didn’t win in the end, but the VA was committed to making Aware a reality.
Over the last nine months we’ve taken your feedback in order to improve upon the original design and concept.
You’re probably wondering a few things.
Who is Aware for?
Anyone is eligible to join the study who’s over 18 years of age, owns a smartphone (iOS or Android), lives in the USA and is comfortable with English.
At the time of writing, around 50% of all participants do not have PTSD. By allowing anyone to join, we can create a comparison group to compare results with.
Why does Aware matter now more than ever?
PTSD is typically assessed by a clinician using a survey called the PCL-5. It’s a long, 20-question survey that’s administered infrequently. The results from this survey are used by practitioners to make a provisional PTSD diagnosis and monitor symptom changes during and after treatment.
But when patients only see their provider when their medication runs out or at a scheduled visit, there is a lot happening in between those visits. This data is not being captured. And asking someone to take a PCL-5 survey each and every day is overwhelming.
One of the chief goals of Aware is to understand if different assessment tools (which you’ll get to experience in the app) are as effective or better than the traditional PCL-5 survey. Especially new tools that are only available through a mobile phone.
And more interestingly, can Aware be smart about sending insights based on assessment results?
Aware is intended to be short (just 28-days), easy and fun to participate in. With just 2 minutes of active tasks per day, you can help the VA understand PTSD better which will help so many people and their families.
Please download Aware today and don’t forget to tell a friend.
To learn more, go to awarestudy.org. Feel free to leave a comment below.