New study claims mobile apps can help treat anxiety and depression

New study claims mobile apps can help treat anxiety and depression

A new study carried out by Ohio State University postdoctoral fellow Armando Silva Almodovar claims that mobile apps can help people with anxiety, depression and coping skills.

The study, as spotted by GeekWire, found that participants who played Litesprite’s therapeutic game Sinasprite recorded a significant improvement in depression and anxiety symptoms along with improved confidence and coping skills after six weeks.

Of the 141 people who independently found, downloaded and used the app, 34 committed to the six-week programme and recorded pre and post-usage surveys to measure symptoms, which are the same measures that doctors used in a clinic.

After six weeks of use, 74 per cent (25/34) of users continued to use the mobile app.

Mobile therapy

Sinasprite is currently in beta on Android and iOS and teaches users skills to combat depression and anxiety based on clinical programs that patients would encounter during therapy.

“We found that there was a significant change in depression after six weeks of use,” Almodovar said.

“We found that there was a significant change in anxiety after six weeks of use - a significant improvement. And we found that there was a significant improvement in their confidence and their coping skills.”

While researchers found the initial results encouraging as results were said to be organic rather than from a controlled environment, it noted there was room for error given the uncontrolled sample.

Researchers added however that further study is warranted to evaluate Sinasprite when it is out of beta. It recommended a larger a more diverse population with mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.

You can read the full report here.

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Staff Writer

Iain is a freelance writer based in Scotland with a penchant for indies and all things Nintendo. Alongside PocketGamer.Biz, he has also appeared in Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, PCGamesN and VG24/7.


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