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What is the purpose of this study?

We (the research team based at the University of Washington) are conducting a randomized controlled trial of the Bolster application. We want to know if Bolster will improve illness knowledge and coping skills for users, and whether the app will help caregivers facilitate their loved one seeking specialized mental health treatment for psychosis. To test this, some users will have access to a website we created with curated resources containing information about psychosis and mental health treatment. Other participants will have access to Bolster, the mobile application. All participants will have access to these materials for 12 weeks.

What will my participation look like?

This study is 100% remote, which means you can participate from anywhere in the United States. Here's a quick rundown:

  1. You'll take our eligibility survey. This should take 10 minutes or so.

  2. If you're eligible, you'll be asked to complete some short surveys (about 30 minutes) about caregiving, your stress levels, and illness knowledge.

  3. You will receive the website resources over the phone or download Bolster with a study team member on Zoom. You will receive your first $60 payment after this session.

  4. You'll have access to the website resources or Bolster for a trial period of 12 weeks. We expect that you'll use Bolster frequently in short spurts (for example, five minutes each day or 15 minutes every few days). Each week, you'll receive a short (2 minute) survey about your experience using the app, your perceived stress levels and illness knowledge. At the six-week mark, you'll complete the same surveys you did in step 2 and receive your second $60 payment.

  5. At the end of your trial, you will uninstall Bolster from your phone and complete the same assessments for a third time, after which you will receive your third $60 payment. If you complete all study procedures, you'll receive a total of $180.

Who will see my data?

The research team will have access to the amount of time you spend in the app each day, and numeric scores you enter for your loved one's symptom severity (you will never report your loved one's name or information). No one will have access to anything you write in the app; anything you write in the app will not be stored. You will have the option to export your responses to a location of your choice. If you decline to export responses, they will be deleted. 


All identifiers (like your name or email address) will be kept on secure databases and not shared outside the research team. We will correct your IP address once, when you take the eligibility survey. Once you are enrolled in our study, you will be assigned a number, which will be associated with your responses to surveys and time spent in the Bolster application. We will not link any identifying information to study data after the eligibility survey. If we publish our findings from these sessions, there will be no identifiable information published. 

Why do you pay people? 

We send Amazon gift cards to express our thanks for participating -- we know you're busy, and we value your time. 

Want to participate in usability testing? Take our eligibility survey and we'll reach out. 

Curious what Bolster looks like?

Here's a sneak peek.


Our sponsors and affiliations:

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