Anxiety? There's An App For That!

New research suggests a smart phone game could help with anxiety-related issues.

Anxiety? There's An App For That!

Do you have trouble concentrating? There’s a game for that! A new treatment for anxiety, called attention-bias modification training, involves creating a smartphone game that might decrease anxiety in people with anxiety-related issues.

Huffington Post recently shared the results of a study published in the journal of Clinical Psychology Science. The study tested 75 people with high anxiety by having them play a iPod Touch game for either 25 or 45 minutes (short training and long training) and then asked to do a speaking task afterward. 

Researchers implemented a placebo version of the game with some of the participants and attention-bias modification training in others. The study found participants randomly assigned to the attention-bias modification training version experienced less anxiety. 

According to research Tracy Dennis of Hunter College, even just 25 minutes with the game had compelling effects on anxiety and stress. 

“Millions of people suffering from psychological distress fail to seek or receive mental health services,” said Dennis in an article from the Association for Psychological Science. “A key factor here is that many evidence-based treatments are burdensome — time consuming, expensive, difficult to access, and perceived as stigmatizing.”

The researchers are confident that apps could over time be developed to assist in the treatment of not only anxiety, but also depression or addiction and other mental health disorders.