Although mobile apps have proliferated as self-help or adjunctive therapy supports, scant research has explored their implementation among mental health practitioners. Little is known about uses and perceptions of mental health apps among applied practitioners, nor are agreed-upon criteria for evaluating and choosing apps available. The present survey study examined the uses and perceptions of mental health apps among 356 professionals and students familiar with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), as indicated by being a member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. The survey found that practitioners are interested in using ACT-related apps, but that use of and familiarity with apps is low. As rated by participants, the most helpful app functions pertained to supporting out-of-session skills practice and the maintenance of therapy gains. The greatest barriers to app use included little guidance as to what apps to choose, app contents that are inconsistent with ACT, and ethical concerns related to app use. Suggested criteria for evaluating apps were consistent with the perceived benefits and barriers to use. Results of this study may be used to increase implementation and improve the development of mental health apps with ACT and other therapeutic communities.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael-levin/9/