Did you know that only an estimated 3-4% of mental health apps are evidence-based?¹ The regulation of mental health services is just beginning to differentiate between ‘lifestyle solutions’ and evidence-based interventions. With hundreds of thousands out there and more every day, it’s more important than ever to know the facts and evidence behind your mental healthcare service.
Just like physical healthcare, it’s important to know that the advice you are getting is the right advice. We wouldn’t take chances with our physical health – why should our mental health be any different?
Ask these questions
Does the service provide evidence-based techniques?
Are they developed by appropriately qualified clinicians?
Do they provide data for the user to support their recovery?
Do they have published studies demonstrating their effectiveness?
Does the solution make unreasonable claims?
Thrive Mental Wellbeing develops its services based on evidence, from both our own clinical studies and global mental health research. We also take our own audit data and user feedback into consideration. Once we created our initial self-guided programme based on well-researched principles, we then developed and amended it over time. This is an ongoing process followed by any healthcare service.
The evidence behind our in-app tools
Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT)
cCBT is an established method to deliver CBT following multiple systematic reviews and meta-analyses. It is recommended for treating depression and anxiety by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)². cCBT has also proven cost-effective and most efficient in primary health settings³.
Due to the evidence shown, we include the following to improve effectiveness for our users;
Transdiagnostic programme for anxiety and depression⁴
Individual user triage
Accessibility through text, phone or video conferencing⁷
Clinically-trained therapist support⁸
We offer one of the few fully realised and digital applied relaxation programmes. Applied Relaxation uses deep muscle relaxation and teaches individuals to shorten the time it takes to relax in any circumstance. Most of the evidence for this technique is in generalised anxiety disorders⁹ and is one of the NICE recommended treatments alongside CBT¹⁰. It is also effective for panic disorders¹¹ and has evidence in the management of chronic pain¹² and in helping vasomotor symptoms during the menopause¹³.
Deep Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation was developed in 1934 and is one of the most effective techniques for reducing physical tension and perceived anxiety. Simple to learn and effective, it has been used for many things. These include insomnia¹⁴, perioperative anxiety¹⁵, and anxiety¹⁶.
The effectiveness of self-suggestion on state anxiety is comparable to meditation techniques¹⁷. We decided to include it in our app, as individuals with higher suggestibility may find it highly effective.
Mindfulness is a skill to improve attention control. It consists of paying close attention to the present moment without judgement. We offer a range of concentration meditation sessions within the app and a free-form unguided session to suit different users. Meditation and mindfulness is the focus of much research at present – evidence suggests it is beneficial for a range of mental health conditions¹⁸ like depression, anxiety, stress, and addictions.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a simple and quick technique. This widely-used technique is particularly useful in acute state anxiety¹⁹ and stress²⁰.
Our published studies
As well as using existing qualified research, our own studies have given us huge insight into the best way to offer mental health support. We have other research and studies currently in progress, with two published papers below;