A Victorian study has shown that a mobile phone app – that encourages depressed young people to self-monitor their feelings – can help relieve depression.
In a study co-ordinated by Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital GPs referred people aged 14-24 with mild or moderate depressive symptoms to use a mobile phone app that prompted users to check on their mood, stress, and coping strategies four times a day for up to four weeks.
In the trial involving 114 participants, those using the mobile phone app showed a significant increase in emotional self awareness at six weeks of follow up.
The increase in emotional self awareness was also associated with a decrease in depressive symptoms.
The Scientific American reports on research that shows for people with depression, getting a phone call can help them feel better — especially as no-one may know they are ‘stuck at home’ in a dark mood.
Researchers at Northwestern University are developing an app that could monitor someone’s phone calls, texts and emails, essentially context sensing.
“Called Mobilyze!, the app can also tap into the phone’s GPS and accelerometer to see if a user has been lying around at home all day. After learning your daily rhythms, the app should be able to notice any changes in behavior or telltale signs of isolation. If it does, it’ll send reminders to connect with other people or do something fun to help lift the gloom.”
The app is still being tested but for many it could provide a ‘nagging reminder’ to call their mother/brother/friend when they are really in need.
Technology keeps marching on…into diverse areas!