Headline, April 30 2022/ ''' '' APPS -MENTAL HEALTH- ARCS '' '''


 HEALTH- ARCS '' '''

APPS FOR MENTAL HEALTH : THOUSANDS CLAIM to help, but not all of them are safe or effective experts say.

SOME MIGHT BENEFIT : IN GENERAL - MENTAL HEALTH APPS can help people gain insights into how their thoughts, feelings and actions interact with each other, said John Dr. John Torous, the director of the digital psychiatry division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. They can also help facilitate the skills that patients learn during therapy, he added.

IT IS DIFFICULT TO PINPOINT THE EXACT number of mental health apps available, but one estimate from 2017 said at least 10,000 were available. And these digital products are becoming a lucrative business.

And at the end of last year, the consultancy Deloitte Global predicted that worldwide spending on mobile mental health applications would reach close to $500 million in 2022.

Dr. Stephanie Collier, the director of education in the geriatric psychiatry division at McLean Hospital in the Boston suburb of Belmont, said ''apps that teach skills such as deep breathing can be helpful to anyone experiencing stress - whether stress is the result of an anxiety disorder or just circumstances.''

For some people, however, apps are not a great fit. Apps work best when people are motivated and have mild illness, Dr. Collier said. ''People with moderate or severe depression may not have sufficient motivation because of their illness to complete modules on a mobile app.''


NO, and especially not if you have impairing symptoms. ''These are not stand-alone treatments,'' Dr. Collier said. ''But they can be effective when used in tandem with therapy.''

Ideally mental health apps teach skills or provide education, said Vaile Wright, the senior director for health care innovation at the American Psychological Association. ''It could be this opening to thinking about 'Maybe I should seek out some more professional help,'' she said.

Dr. Torous offers his patients a free app called MindLAMP, which he created to augment their treatments.


For the most part, no. The Food and Drug administration regulates a small subset of apps that provide treatment or diagnoses or are associated with regulated-medical devices. But most mental wellness apps are not subject to government oversight.

Thus, some make unsubstantiated marketing claims, experts warn, or even worse, offer inaccurate and potentially harmful information.

''The number of products far outstrips the research evidence that's out there,'' said Dr. Scheuller, who is also a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of California, Irvine.

In a recent paper, Dr. Torous and his colleagues examined regulatory gaps in digital health apps, revealing various problems that could arise, such as inaccurate phone number for suicide crisis help lines.

The paper also highlighted an earlier study that found 29 of the 36 top ranked apps for depression and smoking cessation shared user data to Facebook or Google, but only 12 accurately disclosed this in their privacy policies.

And in March, a study concluded that an app created to help those with schizophrenia performed no better than a placebo [in this case, a digital count-down timer].

In addition, just because an app is popular in the online marketplace doesn't mean that it is going to be safer or more effective.


''As a clinician who has used app in care for well over five years, it was always tricky to understand what apps to match to patients,'' Dr. Tourous said. ''You really have to think about how we can respect people's individual backgrounds, preferences and needs.''

Instead of looking for the ''best app,'' or the one with the most ratings, try to make an informed decision about which app would be the best match for you, he added.

One place to start researching is the website Mind Apps, which was created by the clinicians at Beth Israel Lahey Health in Massachusetts. It has reviewed more than 600 apps and is updated every six months. Reviewers look at factors including cost, security and privacy concerns and whether the app is supported by research.

Another website, One Mind Psyber Guide, evaluates health apps for credibility, user experience and transparency of private practices.


Although MindApps and One Mind Psyberguide both present an overview of an app's policy, you may want to dig into the specifics yourself.

Look at what kinds of information it collects, its security measures and whether it sells information to third parties or uses information for advertisements, Dr. Collier said. According to a 2019 study, fewer than half of mobile apps for depression have privacy policies, and most privacy policies are provided only after users enter their data.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Apps for Mental Health, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Christina Caron.

With respectful dedication to the World, and then Students, Professors and Teachers. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

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