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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Clinician’s perceptions of the integration of anxiety mobile applications to counselling : a critical incident study Cortes Cabrales, Luisa Liliana


Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition among the general population. Technology offers a great platform to deliver and supplement mental health services. Over the last decade the development and use of mental health mobile apps has proliferated. Some of the advantages of using apps are accessibility, anonymity, privacy, the ability to monitor symptoms and to track progress in real time. On the other hand, some concerns are safety of personal information and lack of robust research demonstrating their effectiveness. Mobile apps have been conceived, for the most part, as stand-alone interventions. However, the inclusion and integration of mobile apps as tools in psychotherapy is an area of growing interest. Integrating apps in the context of therapy is promising and could increase treatment adherence. However, no previous research has sought to understand how this integration takes place. Fifteen clinicians participated in an open-ended semi-structured interview based on the enhanced critical incident technique (ECIT). The ECIT is a well-established qualitative research method that guides the exploration of what helped, hindered or would have helped (wish list) participants’ decision to use mobile applications in their clinical work with clients who struggle with anxiety. Results highlight therapists’ reasons for using mobile apps in therapy, when they consider it would be useful to integrate them into therapy, ways of integrating them and client factors to consider. The potential contribution of the study included delineating practical aspects of the process of integrating mobile applications in clinical work with clients struggling with anxiety, in hopes of assisting practitioners who are interested in using these tools more effectively with clients, and therefore, facilitating their use with clients to assist in managing their mental health needs.

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