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Talkspace Counseling & Therapy Review

Talkspace Counseling & Therapy Screenshots
Credibility

Credibility

4.00 / 5.00

Overall Score: 12/15

Consumer Ratings: 2/2
Proposed Goal: 2/2
Evidence Based Content: 1/1
Software Updates: 2/2
Clinical Input in Development: 1/1
Research on Development Process: 1/1
Efficacy of Other Products: 1/1
Research Independence and Review: 1/2
Research Base: 1/3

Rating Date: August 2020

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User Experince

User Experience

3.71 / 5.00

Engagement: 2.60 Functionality: 4.58 Aesthetics: 4.00 Information: 3.67 Subjective quality score: 3.25 Perceived impact score: 3.33 Rating date: Rated by: PsyberGuide

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Transparency

Transparency

Acceptable

Overall Score: Acceptable

Does the app have a privacy policy?: Yes

Does the policy describe the information storage and sharing procedures related to user entered information OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes

Does the app provide the option of a pin entry or log-in process to view and enter user data?: Yes

Does the privacy policy state that the app/server encrypts the entered data OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes

Does the privacy policy state whether or not users can delete entered information OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes

Does the privacy policy state whether or not users can edit entered information OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes

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Professional Reviews

Professional Review

Not Yet Available

Talkspace is an app and web service designed for users seeking online psychotherapy. Users are paired with a licensed therapist after a free consultation. Talkspace offers therapists that specialize in various backgrounds (e.g. stress and anxiety, depression, PTSD, LGBTQ issues, work/life issues, and couples’ therapy). The main app screen is the “Talkspace”, where users can text, video, and voice messages their therapist. Users can adjust settings, view timelines and track their progress in the “Journey” tab. Users can also find information on the assigned therapist, such as experience, credentials, focus, treatment approaches, and availability/time zone. A paid subscription is required for users to access services; the cost of subscription varies with the type of service.

Technical Details

Available For: Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Requires Android 6.0 and up. Available on the Web.
Developer: Groop Internet Platform inc.
Type of Treatment: Connect to a Provider
Targeted Conditions: Mood Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, PTSD, Phobias, Eating Disorders
Target Audience: Adults
Designed to be used in conjunction with a professional? Mandatory
Languages Available: English, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Bokmål, Simplified Chinese, Spanish
Cost: Free
Get it on: Google Play, Apple App Store, Web

Research on this App

A pilot study was done to determine the validity of psychotherapy through texting (SMS) and Web platforms. Fifty-seven adults seeking text therapy were recruited from a text therapy service. Clinical outcomes were measured using the General Health Questionnaire-12 after 15 weeks of treatment. Results indicated that 25 (46%) of the participants experiences significant symptom improvement. High levels of satisfaction and cost-effectiveness were also reported. (Hull, T. D., & Mahan, K. 2017. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/tmj.2016.0114?casa_token=UghuCLLMPHcAAAAA:Dus7IlOPswIVhRn-zyUxWjWKFthynEDAn7AHWHg53mbIE3QmvfPZwveW3FMs-vdKuByiuwzpBkfSNQ)

In another study, 51 users of Talkspace were recruited via an invitation from their therapist. Most (N = 35,) of the participants were female, and all participants were between the ages of 18 and 55 (M = 34.0, SD = 8.8). Participants were treated by licensed psychotherapists, with each psychotherapist treating 1.6 study participants on average. Clinical change was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-2 item scale (GAD-2). Work productivity was measured using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Scale (WPAI) and cost effectiveness versus traditional therapy was also measured. Thirty-eight participants (73%) reported a PHQ-9 score of 10 or higher prior to beginning the treatment, with higher scores indicating greater impairment due to depression. Thirty-one of the 38 participants (84%) reported a PHQ-9 score of less than 10 after treatment with an average change of 10.4 points. Thirty-nine participants (75%) reported a GAD-2 score of 3 or higher prior to beginning the treatment, with a higher score indicating greater likelihood for the presence of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Twenty-five of the 39 participants (64%) reported a GAD-2 score of less than 3 after treatment with an average change of 2.67 points. Participants also reported significantly less work missed. (DellaCrosse, M., Mahan, K., & Hull, T. D. 2019. https://idp.springer.com/authorize/casa?redirect_uri=https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41347-018-0064-4&casa_token=87TRgSUZLW4AAAAA:H3Y47xQaMG4yckHJ1qa2fT2HlrWqwmnUsL6d98Vtr2jruz3kVyNp17tKuDnpxFBVGG779sMDXZfTAMGWmJk)

How we evaluate

We review apps against rating criteria developed by experts in the field. Some of those criteria are:

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Credibility

We look at the research supporting the technology and the credibility of the development process.

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Transparency

We review privacy policies to see if key pieces of information about what happens with entered data are addressed.

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User Experience

We explore how fun, functional, easy-to-use, engaging, and interesting the technology is.

ProfessionalReviews

Professional Reviews

A professional in a relevant field downloads and uses the technology and writes a narrative review, highlighting pros & cons and some recommendations for use.

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