Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Counseling Psychology & Community Services
Rachel L. Navarro
Over the years, depression and treatments for depression have been extensively researched. However, as times have changed and technology has become an integrated aspect into many indivdiual’s lives, including those with depression, researched mental health treatments have been slow to appreciate technological advances such as the smartphone app. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a smartphone app in addition to CBT as compared to CBT with paper homework when treating depression. Using a single-case design, as described by Kazdin (2011), with two participants this study found that both participants experienced a decrease in depression scores with the individual in the app condition scoring lower throughout the study; however, the exact contribution that the app had in decreasing depression scores is unclear. The client using the app enjoyed it and found it easy to use and helpful, while the provider was uncertain about including the app in future clinical work. Despite investing more time into her homework, the participant using the app scored lower on a measure of outside engagement than the control participant. As predicted, the participant utilizing the app experienced fewer barriers to homework completion. Due to a small sample size, lack of psychometrically sound instruments and limitations of the design methodology, the findings of this study are limited in scope and generalizability. The causality or influence of the interventions examined on the outcome measures studied is unknown. However, this study adds to the literature on using a depression app as an adjunctive tool to CBT, client and provider attitudes toward the incorporation of an app into psychotherapy, and differences in levels of outside engagement and barriers to homework completion when comparing the mediums of pen and paper versus an app.
Massop, Caitlin, "Effectiveness of a smartphone app as an adjunct to therapy for depression" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 349.