The 2018 Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium will this year be held over 15-17 October at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Tasmania.
Joining us at the conference is Dr Steph Kershaw, Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre who will present on ‘A Novel Mobile App on Crystal Methamphetamine for Australian Communities’.
Introduction: The use of crystal methamphetamine (ice) and its related harms has been the subject of growing concern to the Australian community. Recent statistics have reported that rates of ice use are higher in rural and remote areas compared to major cities. Subsequently, there is a growing need for easily accessible, evidence-based information on ice that is directly applicable to the Australian community. With the increase in use of smartphone apps in the mental health field, development of apps specifically about ice may assist with prevention and treatment. However, a systematic review of the literature identified a lack of high-quality mobile apps on the drug ice.
Aims: This presentation will showcase the full functionality and initial testing of a native smartphone app (on both iPhone and Android) that provides evidence-based and up-to-date information about ice for users, family and friends of users, health professionals and community groups.
Methods: The Cracks in the Ice mobile app was informed by the results of the systematic review, as well as the content of the existing online Cracks in the Ice web-based toolkit. Additional functionality includes “push notifications”, notifying users of new resources when available, and the ability to access information ‘offline’, a feature designed for rural and remote access.
Results: The Cracks in the Ice mobile app was launched on 8th of January 2018.The presentation will describe the results of the systematic review, along with development and dissemination of the app.
Discussions and Conclusions: The Cracks in the Ice mobile app provides evidence-based information on the drug ice and ensures this information is readily available, while improving user engagement and accessibility. This presentation provides an example of innovative e-health drug promotion and prevention and will be informative to service providers, community members, and policy makers.
Key Learnings: 1. How the use of crystal methamphetamine is impacting Australian communities. 2. How a mobile smartphone app was developed to provide evidence-based information about ice. 3. How innovative e-health drug promotion and prevention can help communities
Steph is as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and is responsible for managing Cracks in the Ice; a Commonwealth Department of Health funded project. She completed her PhD in 2015, following which, she undertook several appointments at the World Health Organization (WHO). This research focused on the impact of illicit drugs on public health, and the translation of evidence-based research into international policy outcome.
For more information on the 2018 Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium and to secure early bird discounted rates currently on offer please visit anzmh.asn.au/rrmh