Thursday, December 14, 2017
This Seems To Be A Useful Resource To Help Select A Mental Health App!
This appeared last week.
Posted December 6, 2017
There are currently more than 10,000 depression and anxiety-related self-help apps available to download, the American Psychiatric Association estimates. But less than 1 per cent have been professionally evaluated.
Cause for concern? Well, yes. But not a cause for depression, says Harvard Medical School's John Torous, who leads the association's working group on smartphone app evaluation.
In fact, he sees great promise in digital mental health technologies.
"We can begin to push evidence-based interventions through smartphones," he says.
"And we have the potential to capture a lot of exciting real-time data that may give us clues about how people are feeling and how they are functioning in real life, in the community."
Mental health apps, Dr Torous predicts, will eventually play an important supplementary role to conventional face-to-face therapy, with particular benefits for those living in remote areas.
His enthusiasm is shared by Helen Christensen, the director of the Black Dog Institute at the University of New South Wales.
Professor Christensen says there is a growing body of research indicating that well-designed apps are as effective as face-to-face therapies.
Online tools designed to help alleviate or prevent mental illness take many forms.
Some work to give people a better understanding of the physical warning signs for anxiety, like an increased heart or breathing rate, for example. Others are used to help a person moderate or change their behaviour.
Professor Christensen and her researchers have been developing and evaluating various online applications, including apps that employ what psychologists call Cognitive Behaviour Therapy — known colloquially as the Talking Therapy.
"We are moving into a different arena where chat bots are getting more and more intelligent and they are capable of helping people to manage their own mental health," she says.
But without any professional assistance, it can be difficult for those experiencing a mental health problem to find a digital tool that suits their specific needs.
Lots more information here:
If this area is interesting for you please follow up on the link. There is good advice there.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Thursday, December 14, 2017