A recent study funded by the NIH (National Institute of Health) revealed that a mobile suite consisting of 13 applications is more efficient at reducing the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression than traditional psychotherapy. The apps based on time-honored psychological practices can reduce symptoms by up to 50 percent.
Emily Lattie, a postdoctoral student in behavioral sciences and the author of the study, said that mobile apps are maybe the best tools a psychotherapist can use in order to reduce stress and anxiety-related symptoms.
Lattie, who’s currently working at the Northwestern University’s Center for Behavioral Interventions and the Department of Preventive Medicine, declared in her study that the new app suite could reduce symptoms associated with the two mental conditions by 50 percent.
The app suit is called IntelliCare, and it was designed by the university’s Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies. IntelliCare features 13 distinct applications, each of them targeting a different aspect of anxiety or anxiety.
For example, one of the most popular application in the IntelliCare suit is Purple Chill. This application plays relaxing mindfulness soundtracks. These tracks will help you relax, change your frame of mind, and meditate.
There are other useful applications in the suit such as Day to Day for mood boosting, Slumber Time (tips for a good night’s sleep), and Daily Feats (a cleverly-devised award system to boost your mood).
To determine if the mobile applications developed by the Northwestern University are efficient in reducing anxiety/depression related symptoms, Lattie and her colleagues asked a group of 96 volunteers to use the app suit for eight weeks.
In the first part of the study, the participants receive basic coaching via phone or text messages and then were left to manage on their own.
Based on the results, the participants used IntelliCare at least four times per day or an average of 194 times. Furthermore, it would seem that each participant used the application for an average of one minute.
At the end of the eight weeks study, the Lattie and her team determined that by using IntelliCare, all participants exhibited 50 percent fewer symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. Furthermore, the researcher said that all data gathered during the study would be used to create more efficient mobile applications.
All apps belonging to the IntelliCare suit can be downloaded for free from Google Play. Furthermore, the team said a PC version of IntelliCare would soon become available.
Image source: Northwestern University