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Woebot Review

Woebot Screenshots
Credibility

Credibility

4.67 / 5.00

Overall Score: 14/15

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: 3/3

Rating Date: August 2020

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User Experince

User Experience

4.45 / 5.00

Engagement: 4.20 Functionality: 4.81 Aesthetics: 4.33 Information: 4.46 Subjective quality score: 4.00 Perceived impact score: 4.21 Rating date: October 2019 Rated by: UQueensland

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Transparency

Transparency

Acceptable

Overall Score: Acceptable

Does the app have a privacy policy?: Yes

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

Does the privacy policy state that the app/server encrypts/de-identifies the entered data 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 whether or not users can use the app WITHOUT entering identifiable information, 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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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

Technical Details

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
Cost: Free
Get it on: Apple App Store, Google Play, Web

Research on this App

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)

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.

UserExperiencePG

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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