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Understanding users’ perspectives on mobile apps for anxiety management

Balaskas, A; Schueller, SM; Cox, AL; Doherty, G; (2022) Understanding users’ perspectives on mobile apps for anxiety management. Frontiers in Digital Health , 4 , Article 854263. 10.3389/fdgth.2022.854263. Green open access

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Abstract

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental health problem. The potential of apps to improve mental health has led to an increase in the number of anxiety apps available. Even though anxiety apps hold the potential to enhance mental health care for individuals, there is relatively little knowledge concerning users’ perspectives. This mixed-methods study aims to understand the nature of user burden and engagement with mental health apps (MHapps) targeting anxiety management, in order to identify ways to improve the design of these apps. Users’ perspectives on these apps were gathered by analyzing 600 reviews from 5 apps on the app stores (Study 1), and conducting 15 interviews with app users (Study 2). The results shed light on several barriers to adoption and sustained use. Users appreciate apps that offer content variation, customizability, and good interface design, and often requested an enhanced, personalized experience to improve engagement. We propose addressing the specific app quality issues identified through human-centered design, more personalized content delivery, and by improving features for social and therapeutic support.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding users’ perspectives on mobile apps for anxiety management
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fdgth.2022.854263
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fdgth.2022.854263
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Balaskas, Schueller, Cox and Doherty. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: anxiety, mental health, mobile apps, mobile interventions, stress
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10156688
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