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This study reports on the changes in stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms of subscribers after 3 months using Text4Hope, a supportive text messaging program designed to provide support during the pandemic.
Standardized self-report measures were used to evaluate perceived stress (measured with the Perceived Stress Scale-10 [PSS-10]), anxiety (measured with the General Anxiety Disorder Scale 7 [GAD-7]), and depressive symptoms (measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9]), at baseline and 3rd month (n = 373).
After 3 months of using Text4Hope, subscribers’ self-reports revealed significant (p< 0.001) mean score reductions compared with baseline on: the GAD-7 by 22.7%, PHQ-9 by 10.3%, and PSS-10 scores by 5.7%. Reductions in inferred prevalence rates for moderate to high symptoms were also observed, with anxiety demonstrating the largest reduction (15.7%).
Observed Text4Hope-related reductions in psychological distress during COVID-19 indicate that Text4Hope is an effective, convenient, and accessible means of implementing a population-level psychological intervention.