What types of mental health apps are most engaging?

There are thousands of mental health apps available and they offer to fill many roles including but not limited to: Symptom Tracking, Mindfulness / Meditation, Breathing Exercises, Peer Support, Psychoeducation and more. One 2019 study looked at real world use data on how many times apps that offer these services are used. The study sampled app users from the general public so we do not know how many people had serious mental illness in this study. Still the results shown below are important as they suggest that peer support apps may be much more engaging compared to other types. From this study, it seems peer support apps could be a good first choice if seeking an app that will be more engaging. Of course, using an app in a care setting is different engagement will likely be much higher. These results do not mean that peer support apps are better or high quality – just that they may be more engaging.

The median rate of daily engagement rate as measured by the app being opened each day was reported in the study as noted below:

-Trackers = 6.3%
-Mindfulness / Meditation = 4.1%
-Breathing Exercises = 1.6%
-Peer Support = 17%
-Psychoeducation = 3%

Reference:

https://www.jmir.org/2019/9/e14567/

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