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This ongoing study develops and evaluates the acceptability and effectiveness of a smartphone application for the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is commonly used to manage and minimize the aversive symptoms of GAD; however, studies have found only modest treatment gains when CBT is used alone (Brown et al., 2001). Previous studies have measured client acceptability of smartphone applications (Ainsworth et al., 2013; Pramana et al., 2013), but they have failed to measure the impact of the application on treatment outcomes (e.g., reductions in symptom severity). To fill this gap in the literature, the proposed study will compare therapists using their treatment as usual (TAU; typically cognitive behavioral therapy) plus inclusion of the smartphone application (TAU+app) to two alternative treatment conditions: TAU plus the addition of a paper log for daily assessment of client data (TAU+paper), and treatment as usual alone (TAU). The current study will test the hypothesis that the integration of a cognitive-behavioral based smartphone application will produce greater reductions in anxiety by facilitating a better quality of communication between therapist and client, strengthening the quality of the therapeutic alliance, promoting skill acquisition, and providing more data regarding client progress. All participants will complete dependent measures of anxiety and depression, global functioning and therapeutic alliance on a weekly basis during the 6 weeks of the study. In addition, the study will test mediation of the treatment effect through enhanced therapist-client communication, therapeutic alliance, and treatment compliance, which also will be measured during the six-week treatment period. Dependent and mediating variables will be measured again at week 10 to determine any lasting effects of the intervention.Keywords: smartphone application, treatment outcomes, anxiety, depression, therapeutic alliance.
Jackson A Goodnight
Primary Advisor's Department
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Schwob, Jeremy T., "A Smartphone Application for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder" (2015). Stander Symposium Posters. 613.
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