Beating the Blues
Beating the Blues is a web-based program for mood and anxiety disorders that uses the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It was created for the National Health Services in the United Kingdom.
Positive Activity Jackpot is most suitable for adults struggling with depression to teach them skills and help them engage in pleasant activities. There are two main features of the app: “Jackpot” or “Find Something Nearby.” “Jackpot” allows the user to choose from various categories of activities (i.e. water activities, shopping, thoughts, travel) and pull a slot-machine style lever to provide a specific suggestion. “Find Something Nearby” uses “pleasant event scheduling” (PES) to suggest nearby activities ranging from a 0 to 20-mile radius. Positive Activity Jackpot allows for either tailored or general suggestions for a personalized event plan conducted in groups or alone. The app determines personal preference of activities through analysis of the user’s subjective ratings, allowing for future suggestions to be more applicable for everyone. Positive Activity Jackpot also allows for social media posting to linked feeds such as Facebook or Twitter to broadcast one’s chosen activity.
Available for: Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch; Android 5.0 and up. Web.
Developer: Defense Health Agency
Type of Treatment: Cognitive Behavioral Principles
Targeted Conditions: Mood Disorders
Target Audience: Adults, (developed for Veterans, but not specific to military personnel)
Designed to be used in conjunction with a professional? No
Languages Available: English
Get it on: Google Play, Apple App Store,
A study published in 2018 looked at a modified version of Positive Activity Jackpot that suiggested primarily mindfulness based activities. A total of 20 participants were tasked with using the app. Mindfulness was measured pre- and post- intervention using the State Mindfulness Scale (SMS). Results showed subjective and objective efficacy; although changes in trait mindfulness were insignificant. (Sliwinski, J., Katsikitis, M., & Jones, C. M. 2018. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jacek_Sliwinski/publication/326534927_Design_and_Evaluation_of_Smartphone-based_Training_for_Mindfulness_and_Openness_to_Experience/links/5b54813c0f7e9b240ffa9c93/Design-and-Evaluation-of-Smartphone-based-Training-for-Mindfulness-and-Openness-to-Experience.pdf)
In one study published in 2017, Positive Activity Jackpot was used in combination with other apps to help explore the use of apps for providing training for managing symptoms PTSD. 144 service members or family members (54 percent males, 87 percent SMs) were provided the set of apps. Participants used the apps for 6 weeks, and were randomized to a treatment group (brief cognitive-behavioral session, followed by daily text messages directing app use) or a control group (daily text messages of inspirational quotes). Both groups reported reductions in PTSD, anxiety, and depression symptoms during the 6-week intervention. Reductions were sustained at 3 months, but exhibited partial rebound at 6-12 months. (Roy, M. J., Costanzo, M. E., Highland, K. B., Olsen, C., Clayborne, D., & Law, W. 2017. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cyber.2017.0221)
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