There are thousands of mobile applications (apps) that deliver information and offer daily support and intervention. The aim of this study is to identify the current state of apps that assess/treat depressive symptoms or prevent depression, within the official Android and iOS app stores in Japan. The 47 apps for depression that are available for download from these app stores were evaluated by the App Evaluation Model, in terms of their background information, risk/privacy and security, evidence, ease of use, and interoperability. In addition, we evaluated their primary purpose, technological components, and cognitive-behavioral therapy components. Findings suggest that few apps have been developed that are evidence-based, secure, and provide the services that users expect. In future, it will be necessary to create a framework for developing and disseminating more effective apps. This study is the first review of apps for depression that are currently available in Japan. Hence, it seeks to facilitate the creation of a framework for such apps.
The purpose of the present study is to examine a mediation model wherein autistic traits affect depressive symptoms, mediated social skills and relationships with friends. The participants were 392 school-going children and adolescents (grades 4 to 9) and their mothers. The mothers evaluated the autistic traits and social skills of their children, while the children and adolescents reported on their relationships with friends and any depressive symptoms. The results of the multiple population analysis, using structural equation modeling, suggested that the effects of social issues regarding autistic traits and the associated depression symptoms were mediated by social skills and relationships with friends, among boys in elementary school and boys and girls in junior high school. Among girls in elementary school, however, social skills were not related to relationships with friends. In conclusion, the present study highlights the importance of social skills interventions to prevent depression in children and adolescent with high levels of social impairments associated with autistic traits.
This study aims to examine the effects of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) on procrastination in university students and analyze the psychological and behavioral measures of procrastination. We assigned 22 participants to an experimental group that received a 60-minute ACT program, and 25 participants to a control group that did not receive the ACT program. We assessed the task achievement rate for 7 days for the behavioral indicator and the procrastination rate for the psychological indicator. We also administered Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) to assess the effect of ACT. All measures were assessed before and after the program. Analysis of changes in the four indices showed that the experimental group reported an improvement in both the task achievement rate and the procrastination rate over the 7-day period, but did not report any significant difference in the scores of FFMQ and-AAQ-II. Therefore, ACT-based programs are effective for improving the psychological and behavioral aspects of procrastination, but it is necessary to examine the effects of each intervention program.
This article provides a case study in which an in-patient in his early 40s, who had obsessive-compulsive disorder and the cardinal symptom of an obsession, underwent intensive imaginal exposure. First, the patient saw an image of being attacked by the aura of a bad person. He became overwhelmed by the anxiety that he himself might become a bad person, owing to which he could not go to work. This patient, who had obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS), learned to manage his obsession through Kendo (Japanese fencing) swinging practice. Imaginal exposure was conducted during hospitalization, which improved his OCS. Kendo swinging practice was used to remind the patient of the state of munen musô (being free from all distracting thoughts). When a patient experienced this state in Budo (Japanese martial arts) or sports, a desirable method of dealing with the obsession through practice or training, by repeating the experience, could contribute to improving their OCS. The authors’ approaches are introduced in this paper. This study is useful for readers who are conducting behavior therapy, including imaginal exposure, to relieve OCS.
The present study examines the effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and behavioral-parenting training (BPT) on elementary school-going children in grades 2 to 6, and their parents. The children have high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and anxiety symptoms. The combined program involves 120-minute sessions that are divided into six CBTs (one for psychoeducation, three for cognitive restructuring, one for exposure, and one for social thinking skills/relaxation), and six BPTs (one for reinforcement, and two for reinforcement and stimulus control, one for behavior chaining, two for functional assessment). The participants included 12 children with ASD and their parents. Parents and teachers rated children on the severity of their anxiety, behavioral autism, emotional problems, and conduct problems. This was completed for both the pre- and post-treatment. Additionally, the general health symptoms of the parents were assessed. Results of t-tests suggested that treatment significantly improved the “social phobia” of the SCAS subscale and behavioral autistic symptoms, including “social awareness,” “social communication,” and the “total of Social Response Scale,” based on parents’ ratings. Teachers’ ratings showed that treatment significantly mitigated peer relationship problems. However, parents’ ratings of anxiety symptoms and the general health symptoms of the parents remained unchanged.