Effectiveness of a smart phone application BioBase for reducing anxiety and increasing mental wellbeing: a pilot feasibility and acceptability study (Preprint)
Kawadler JM., Hemmings NR., Ponzo S., Morelli D., Bird G., Plans D.
<sec> <title>BACKGROUND</title> <p>The prevalence of workplace-related stress and anxiety is high, resulting in stress-related physical and mental illness. Digital self-guided interventions aimed at key areas of workplace design may be able to provide remote anxiolytic effects.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>OBJECTIVE</title> <p>The aim of this feasibility study is to assess changes in anxiety and mental wellbeing after use of the BioBase programme, a smart phone platform for psycho-educational modules, tools and real-time feedback of physiological data.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>METHODS</title> <p>A four-week observational study was carried out in 55 healthy adults who were screened for stress with the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) Stress subscale. Participants completed anxiety (6-item State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; STAI) and mental wellbeing (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale; WEMWBS) questionnaires at baseline and at 4 weeks. Feedback questionnaires were administered after 4 weeks.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>RESULTS</title> <p>After 4 weeks of using the programme, STAI significantly decreased (baseline mean= 45.52 ± 13.2, 4-weeks mean: 39.82 ± 11.2, t54 = -3.51, P < 0.001, CI: -8.88 - -2.52, Cohen’s d = 0.96) and WEMWBS significantly increased (baseline mean = 48.12 ± 6.4, 4-weeks mean: 50.4 ± 6.9, t53 = 2.41, p = 0.019, CI: 0.44-4.23, Cohen’s d = 0.66). Further, higher baseline stress was significantly associated with a greater decrease in STAI (t53 = -3.41, P = 0.001, CI: -8.10- -2.10, R2 = 0.180) and a greater increase in WEMWBS (t52 = 2.41, P = 0.019, CI: 0.38 - 4.11, R2 = 0.101). On feedback, participants found the programme easy to use navigate, with the content being acceptable and relevant to workplace-related stressors. 70% of participants would recommend the programme to a friend.</p> </sec> <sec> <title>CONCLUSIONS</title> <p>The BioBase programme is an effective intervention in decreasing anxiety and increasing mental wellbeing, with larger changes in those with higher baseline levels of stress.</p> </sec>