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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01592

The Effectiveness of an App-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program for Depression and Anxiety in Cancer Patients

  • 1Yonsei University, South Korea
  • 2National Cancer Center (South Korea), South Korea
  • 3College of Medicine, Yonsei University, South Korea
  • 4Ulsan University Hospital, South Korea

From the time of their diagnosis, cancer patients experience various psychological and social difficulties, the most common being depression and anxiety. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of an app-based cognitive behavioral therapy program (HARUToday) for depression and anxiety in cancer patients using both questionnaires and computer tasks. For this purpose, 47 participants who met the inclusion criteria were randomly assigned to either the cognitive behavioral therapy program, a simple information-provision program (HARUCard), or a waitlist control group. Self-report questionnaires and two computer tasks were administered before and after 66 days of intervention. The results showed that the depression and anxiety scores of the HARUToday group decreased significantly after intervention compared to the other two groups. However, there was no significant change in scores on the Health-Related Quality of Life scale, Dysfunctional Attitude Scale, and the two computer tasks (Dot probe task and Implicit Association Test). Such results suggest that HARUToday may be an effective intervention for alleviating depression and anxiety in cancer patients. The limitations of this study and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: Cancer, Psychosocial problems, Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Mobile health (mHealth), app based treatment

Received: 03 Mar 2019; Accepted: 25 Jun 2019.

Edited by:

Gian Mauro Manzoni, University of eCampus, Italy

Reviewed by:

Eleonora Volpato, Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi Onlus (IRCCS), Italy
Tobias Kube, Harvard Medical School, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Ham, Chin, Suh, Yu, Lee, Kim, Kim, Koh and Chung. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Kyong-Mee Chung, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea, kmchung@yonsei.ac.kr