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The widespread use of smartphones makes effective therapies such as cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) potentially accessible to large numbers of people.
This paper reports the usage data of the first trial of Catch It, a new CBT smartphone app.
Uptake and usage rates, fidelity of user responses to CBT principles, and impact on reported negative and positive moods were assessed.
A relatively modest proportion of people chose to download the app. Once used, the app tended to be used more than once, and 84% of the user-generated content was consistent with the basic concepts of CBT. There were statistically significant reductions in negative mood intensity and increases in positive mood intensity.
Smartphone apps have potential beneficial effects in mental health through the application of basic CBT principles. More research with randomised controlled trial designs should be conducted.
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