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Stress & Anxiety Companion is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) app designed to help users manage anxious feelings and identify their triggers. The app has three main features; ‘Tools’, ‘Thoughts’, and ‘Cards’. The ‘Tools’ section has a number of activities aimed to reduce stress and anxiety levels; there are two relaxation audio tracks, one 15-minute Mindfulness exercise and one 10-minute Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise, a visually aided breathing exercise, and brain games to help interrupt anxious or negative thinking. The core feature of the app is the ‘Reframe a Thought’ section. Here, users are encouraged to reframe negative thoughts by identifying their trigger, detailing the negative thought, and creating a new thought. The user describes the anxious thought and trigger, rates their anxiety on a scale of one to ten, and chooses a category for the thought; ‘black and white thinking’, ‘catastrophizing’, ‘low frustration tolerance’, ‘self condemnation’. The next step is to construct a new thought which is more realistic, compassionate and constructive, and falls into one of the following categories; ‘flexible thinking’, ‘anti-catastrophizing’, ‘high frustration tolerance’, and ‘self-acceptance’. Thoughts are saved in the ‘Thoughts’ section and can be revisited at any time. The third section is the ‘Create a Card’ section, where users can pair a thought summary with a suitable photograph, which can be shared with friends or saved. In addition to the three interactive sections of the app, there is a ‘Learn’ section which provides information on topics like anxiety, sleep, diet, exercise. Users can also tap an ‘Explain This’ button throughout the app for an explanation of terms used. The app is free and available on iOS.
Available for: Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Developer: Companion Apps Limited
Type of Treatment: Cognitive Behavioral Principles, Mindfulness, Psychoeducation & Information, Assessments/Screening
Targeted Conditions: Stress and Anxiety
Target Audience: Adults
Designed to be used in conjunction with a professional? No
Languages Available: English
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Get it on: Apple App Store
A 2015 study aimed to test the effectiveness of the app Stress and Anxiety Companion on anxiety and stress. A quantitative online survey design was used to explore the levels of anxiety and self-efficacy of its 39 participants. Of the initial 39 participants 16 of them completed both baseline and a second questionnaire that was to be done after using the app for 2 weeks. It was found that after having used the app for 2 weeks all but one participant felt a reduction in their levels of anxiety from moderate to mild. An increase the participants’ self-efficacy was also found when measured a second time. The paper does state that the results were not statistically significant but may be found as significant if there was a larger sample. (Easton. 2015. https://www.dropbox.com/s/d8z8julrc1o3tcv/Companion%20App%20evaluation%20-%20exec%20summary.pdf?dl=0)
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