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Woebot is an AI-powered chatbot that uses principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Woebot guides users through managing distressing thoughts and feelings. After creating an account, users message with Woebot in the app. Through check-ins, Woebot prompts users to enter their mood and details explaining their mood and responds by suggesting tools, skills, and strategies to help. In addition to messaging, users can view a chart of their mood entries over time, and view psychoeducational media. Users can also access guided exercises such as, “challenge negativity” and, “challenge stress”. At the end of each conversation with Woebot, users are invited to rate the quality of the conversation. Woebot is not designed to be used in an emergency, or to manage psychiatric crises.Read the Professional Review for Woebot: A Professional Review
Available for: Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Requires Android 6.0 and up. Available Web
Developer: Woebot Labs Inc
Type of Treatment: Cognitive Behavioral Principles, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness, Symptom Tracking/Self-Monitoring, Psychoeducation & Information, Chatbot/AI
Targeted Conditions: Mood Disorders, Stress and Anxiety, Addictions or Substance Use, Chronic Pain
Target Audience: Not Specified
Designed to be used in conjunction with a professional? No
Languages Available: English
Get it on: Apple App Store, Google Play, Web
In one study, 70 participants (18-28 y/o) were randomized to either 2 weeks (up to 20 sessions) of CBT-based self-help content through Woebot (n=34) or were directed to the National Institute of Mental Health ebook, “Depression in College Students,” as an information-only control group (n=36). All participants completed the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7), and the Positive and Negative Affect Scale at baseline and 2-3 weeks later (T2). Participants were on average 22.2 years old (SD 2.33), 67% female (47/70), mostly non-Hispanic (93%, 54/58), and Caucasian (79%, 46/58). No significant differences existed between the groups at baseline, and 83% (58/70) of participants provided data at T2 (17% attrition). Those in the Woebot group significantly reduced their symptoms of depression over the study period as measured by the PHQ-9 (F=6.47; P=.01) while those in the information control group did not. Participants in both groups significantly reduced anxiety as measured by the GAD-7 (F1,54= 9.24; P=.004). Participants’ comments suggest that process factors were more influential on their acceptability of the program than content factors mirroring traditional therapy. (Fitzpatrick, K., Darcy, A., & Vierhile, M. 2017. https://mental.jmir.org/2017/2/e19/)
In another study, 16 participants (8 male, 8 female, 23-38 y/o) were interviewed to assess their experience with and acceptability of using Woebot. Findings from the interview include the enjoyability of human-like interactions, along with recommendations for how to make these interactions more natural. (Demirci, H. 2018. http://etd.lib.metu.edu.tr/upload/12622742/index.pdf)
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