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Using a mobile-based app to help manage PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder affects approximately 7.8 percent of people in the United States, as well as almost one-third of military veterans. Not everyone with PTSD can afford to seek professional care or feels comfortable doing so, and the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Center for PTSD recently developed a mobile-device app to provide immediate help for those people. Now Stanford researchers are exploring the usefulness of such a tool.

As I describe in a release today:

The app contains four sections: "learn," which provides basic information about PTSD; "find support," which helps users find professional care; "self-assessment," which allows users to fill out a checklist that measures 17 PTSD symptoms; and "manage symptoms," which provides tools to address acute symptoms such as insomnia and anger.


The study, which is the first to test the effectiveness of the app, will involve both Bay Area subjects and volunteers living throughout the United States. Local participants will be asked to come to Stanford for an in-person psychiatric interview and will be provided with devices that download apps if they don't have one. Non-local participants, who must own a smart phone or other device that can download apps, will participate online. Both sets of volunteers will use the app for one month and then fill out two online surveys at one- and two-month intervals.

Those interested in participating or learning more should e-mail

Previously: Can playing Tetris reduce flashbacks and aid in the treatment of PTSD?, Stanford and other medical schools to increase training and research for PTSD, combat injuries and Can training soldiers to meditate combat PTSD?
Photo by breahn

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