University of Twente Student Theses


The use of Smartphone applications in mental health care and its barriers of usage : A Literature Review

Manthey, Hannah (2018) The use of Smartphone applications in mental health care and its barriers of usage : A Literature Review.

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Abstract:This paper is focused on the use of smartphone applications, in the psychotherapeutic context. To this date, there has been no review of existing applications that are used in therapy, missing out on the possibility to increase the efficacy of psychotherapy by means of technology. This paper also examines the disorders the applications address, the behaviour change techniques implemented and reasons for therapists and patients to resist the use of applications. The literature was collected via a search based on the keywords, which were acquired through a keyword analysis of existing literature reviews on the topics and the articles citing them. Ultimately 20 articles were included, which were then coded inductively and deductively using the program Atlas.ti and selecting text passages relevant to the research questions using codes that were previously established. If relevant, new codes were created. The results indicated that most apps were aimed at depression and anxiety, using mostly monitoring and psychoeducative elements. Major limitations mentioned by patients were not owning a smartphone and being not familiar with smartphones, whereas psychotherapists named scepticism regarding the validity and the therapeutic elements used in the smartphone-based interventions. The discussion deals with the current superiority of apps treating mood disorders, the lack of innovative features and a missing focus on privacy and scientific standard in the apps.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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