Background: The shortage of providers, therapists, and long waiting times for appointments in the United States is growing. Mental health technology applications (apps) expand the strategies available to people with mental health conditions to achieve their goals for well being through self-management of symptoms.
Methods: A project was undertaken at an outpatient behavioral setting in urban Arizona to determine the use and effectiveness of a mental health app called insight timer to reduce anxiety symptoms. Adult clients with anxiety symptoms were provided with the insight timer app to use over a period of eight weeks. Anxiety was evaluated with the GAD-7 scale initially and after the eight weeks of app use. Usability and the quality of the app were assessed with an app rating scale at the end of the eight weeks.
Results: Findings of the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test indicated changes in pre and posttest assessment scores as significant (p = .028), which is a significant reduction in anxiety among seven clients who completed the 8-week intervention. the mean TI score was 15.57 (SD = 4.9), and the mean T2 score was 7.71 (SD = 5.7). Besides, Cohen's effect size value (d = 1.465) suggested large clinical significance for GAD7 in pre and posttest.
Discussion: Evidence suggests that the use of an evidence-based app can effectively reduce anxiety symptoms and improve the quality of life. The use of mental health apps like insight timer could reduce health care costs associated with unnecessary hospital admissions as well as re-hospitalizations. The routine use of apps such as the insight timer may also be beneficial to all the clients who have anxiety symptoms in outpatient as well as inpatient settings.