Digital Opportunities for Outcomes in Recovery Services

Digital Opportunities for Outcomes in Recovery Services

Project Overview

Data has repeatedly shown that those with mental health conditions have high rates of access to smartphones and interest in digital mental health offerings. The Digital Opportunities for Outcomes in Recovery Services (DOORS) program is a series of pragmatic and interactive lessons designed to develop new functional skills for accessing and utilizing the promise of digital health. Lessons educate and empower patients to make informed decisions around smartphone use and digital tools that can contribute to their personal wellness and recovery. For more information and access to our curriculum, please use the following link:

Evaluated with the groups Below

First Episode Psychosis Program for Patients with Schizophrenia and Clubhouse Patients with Serious Mental Illness


We explored running DOORS in two distinct settings: a first episode psychosis(FEP) program and a chronic phase schizophrenia clubhouse. We collected qualitative feedback from exploratory groups at each site to better understand how participants used their phone today and what features in digital health applications they were most interested in learning.


Based on qualitative feedback and our own observations from facilitating exploratory groups, we recognized several opportunities for digital mental health education. Patients were using apps but were largely unaware of the digital resources available to aid recovery. Many patients expressed interest in mobile applications related to fitness, nutrition, and relaxation. Informed by key elements of Self-Determination Theory, a theory defined by human needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and patient excitement around adopting wellness apps in particular, we created a curriculum that develops smartphone skills and understanding, introduces patients to applications that support their personal wellness goals, and facilitates group sharing around digital health strategies.


The DOORS curriculum today consists of six hour-long sessions held once a week. Each session focuses on a specific skill that builds on prior learning and helps patients to identify and realize wellness goals. Ultimately, patients are supported by each other, our team, and their own learning to use mobile applications to meet their personal preferences and needs. We learn with and from our patients to revise our curriculum and inform DOORS implementation at new sites.

For access to the group facilitator manual, please click the image above or send a request via the connect page


Relevant Reading
  • Torous J, Wisniewski H, Liu G, Keshavan M.Mental Health Mobile Phone App Usage, Concerns, and Benefits Among Psychiatric Outpatients: Comparative Survey Study. JMIR Ment Heal. 2018;5(4):e11715.doi:10.2196/11715
  • Torous J, Chan SR, Yee-Marie Tan S, et al.Patient Smartphone Ownership and Interest in Mobile Apps to Monitor Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions: A Survey in Four Geographically Distinct PsychiatricClinics. JMIR Ment Heal. 2014;1(1):e5. doi:10.2196/mental.4004
  • Torous J, Roberts L. Needed innovation in digital health and smartphone applications for mental health: Transparency andtrust. JAMA Psychiatry. 2017;74(5):437-438.doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry. 2017.0262

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