New research has revealed that apps installed on smartphones can be used to significantly reduce anxiety.
Joseph Firth, from The University of Manchester, led the first ever meta-analysis of all published evidence on the effect of smartphone-based therapies on anxiety in 1,837 people.
The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, is a collaboration between The University of Manchester, Harvard University, University of Melbourne and the Black Dog Institute in Australia.
It showed that overall, smartphone interventions reduced anxiety significantly more than control conditions – suggesting new digital therapies could be useful for managing the condition.
Smartphone apps, argue the team, may be best used for augmenting face-to-face therapy and other psychological treatment – rather than replacing standard care.
Because psychologists are seeing increasing numbers of young people suffering from anxiety disorders, mental health services struggle to meet their needs.