A recent study shows that the majority of users of mobile apps dedicated to mental and emotional well-being felt an improvement in their condition. Platforms like these are accessible to anyone who is connected and are usually very user-friendly. Experts believe that in time, tools of this kind will be part of the means used by health-care professionals to prevent or treat mental illness.
That mobile health apps can help users stay in fine form physically on a daily basis is not disputed, particularly those which monitor certain levels or act as coaches. What is less well known is that digital platforms of this kind can also be of great help when it comes to trying to achieve a state of mental and emotional well-being.
90% of users of apps note an improvement
In a study on the subject published on 17 October in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, researchers at Brigham Young University in the USA determined that around 90% of people who used a mobile app dedicated to mental health had greater levels of self-confidence, and were more determined to work on improving their psychological well-being.
These conclusions were based on answers provided by 150 people who had used mental health-related applications in the previous six months, Healthcare Analysis News website reports. The questionnaire focused on how they used the apps and the changes that the users noted in their behaviour, with the researchers noting that those who spent significant time on their app felt changes in their attitudes.
Affordable and easy to obtain
"We discovered that apps linked to emotional and mental health are capable of improving behaviour," explained Benjamin Crookston, head of the study. "This is excellent news for people looking for inexpensive and easily accessible ways to fight mental illness and emotional problems."
There are currently several types of app dedicated to psychological well-being available to the general public, including programmes that are based on religion, spirituality and meditation. There are also platforms however that enable users to track their medicine-based treatment. The researchers now intend to pursue their work to determine which apps are the most effective, and why.
Apps used as part of treatment in the future?
For the moment however, scientists are simply happy that digital systems of this kind have been proven to work. "It is easy to get interested in applications of this kind, and if we can encourage people to use them more often, there will be a real possibility for them to change their attitudes," said Joshua West, one of the authors of the study. Experts believe that the development and proliferation of this type of programme will lead to them becoming recognised methods of prevention and treatment of mental health problems at some point in the future.
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