Launch of Crazy'App, a web application on mental health

Research Published July 7 2016
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A multidisciplinary team (psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists…), led by professor Luc Mallet, team leader at the ICM, has developed Crazy’App, a new type of tool to better understand and change the public’s representations on mental health disorders. This web-application is part of a participatory science process that will enable to collect data for the benefit of research.

 

While mental disorders affect 1 in 5 people in France, they are barely or badly known to the public. In addition, the representations of the population about these disorders or the people who suffer from them are often false. Many preconceived ideas sustain a certain stigma of patients. People’s perception, especially relatives, has an important impact on the clinical evolution of the disease and how it is experienced.

In this regard, a multidisciplinary team of researchers, composed of Luc Mallet (Inserm, ICM), Xavier Briffault (CNRS – CERMES3), Margot Morgiève (ICM-CERMES3) and Karim N’Diaye (ICM), has developed an innovative tool, the “Crazy’App“, to better understand the representations of each and everyone on mental health, and change those representations which have major consequences especially on patients’ lives, and on healthcare access.

This research supported by the Philippe and Maria Halphen Foundation and the Meeting for Minds association lies in the events of the ” Mental disorder ” exhibition, presented at the museum of Science and Industry, on which the researchers involved in the Crazy’App development have worked as experts.

Crazy’App is a web application allowing users to discover testimonies from patients who express their experience of the troubles. By collecting the answers from participants through a questionnaire, researchers will analyse the collected data and thus better understand the general public’s perceptions about mental disorders : today, what are our beliefs and misconceptions about these diseases ? What are our concrete attitudes regarding them ? Can our prejudices change over time ? These are some of the questions the Crazy’App survey would like to answer from a quantitative and qualitative point of view.

crazy-app-smartphone

For the users who responded to the survey, Crazy’App provides a set of educational content based on video interviews of four psychiatric experts answering the same questions. Users can also access graphical views of their answers allowing them to see in real time where they stand in relation to other participants and therefore get to grips with their own representations.

The originality of the Crazy’App is based on the use of multimedia content and interactivity that makes it a new kind of tool for sociological research on mental health. This innovative participatory research thus aims to achieve an overview of the knowledge and attitudes of the general population, with the objective of identifying barriers to the inclusion of people with mental health disorders.

Crazy’App is doomed to travel beyond France, starting with French-speaking countries.
Through this project, the ICM continues to support multidisciplinary research, with a view to the emergence of innovative concepts in order to be able to face challenges related to brain understanding and related pathologies.