Persuasive Essay about Apps in Phones

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What Makes Mental Health Apps Useful?
  3. Interaction Between Clinicians and Patients
  4. Access to Abundant Information
  5. Provision of Various Trainings
  6. The Main Ethical Challenge and Its Solution
  7. Conclusions
  8. Bibliography

Introduction

Centuries ago, when people’s perception of mental illness was bad, people who were mentally sick, and their families used to send them to places that refine people with mental illness without treating them. However, today, people care about mental health and do research on mental health treatment to find better ways to cure mental disorders. If someone has a mental disorder, he or she can receive a diagnosis from a psychiatrist. Moreover, technology develops over time, and technology development affects mental health care. For example, playing video games can treat depression. If anyone with depression plays League of Legends, he or she learns how to make his or her performance better in situations that give a lot of pressure.[footnoteRef:1]People experience rapid development of technology, especially when it comes to mobile technology. They notice that new smartphones with new features come out every year, and people keep looking forward to mobile technology development. Mobile technology improves over time along with mobile apps, and there are apps for mental health nowadays. However, people question if they are useful or not. There is uncertainty about the effectiveness of mobile mental health apps, and that makes people think that mental health apps should not be alternatives to conventional forms of mental health. However, they can be very useful. [1: McGonigal, J. (2015, November 09). How Video Games Can Teach Your Brain to Fight Depression. Retrieved from https://slate.com/technology/2015/11/how-video-games-can-teach-your-brain-to-fight-depression.html]

What Makes Mental Health Apps Useful?

The effectiveness of mobile mental health apps should be evaluated by measuring safety, engagement, functionality, social interactions, and accessibility. University College Dublin in Ireland made a mental health app prototype for adolescents who were 15 or 16 years old. The university asked them to evaluate the prototype and talk about how mental health apps should be designed. Regarding safety, the participants said that the apps’ users’ confidentiality or privacy should be secured so they are safe from cyberbullying and stigma. The adolescents that mental health apps should be protected by using a password system. In matters of engagement, the participants said that apps should have pictures, music, videos, and games because they make apps very fun and interactive to use. The participants also emphasized that apps need to have new features or functions to make them stand out so teenagers are induced to download and use those apps. The participants mentioned about functionality that mental health apps must have valuable and proper functions. They should provide positive information and connection to professional help, for example, users could ask questions to mental health professionals and receive answers. Users are expected to see notable improvements in their mental health by using the apps if they have good functionality. The adolescents also reported that they want mental health apps to allow them to socially interact with other people who also have mental health issues to share problems and experiences so users can give advice to each other. Finally, the participants also mentioned regarding accessibility that just as every app, mental health apps should be designed to be easy to use. They emphasized the significance of apps having free download costs. If apps are free, everyone can use them including young people who tend to like free products and services because they have a low budget.[footnoteRef:2] [2: Kenny, R., Dooley, B., & Fitzgerald, A. (2014). Developing mental health mobile apps: Exploring adolescents’ perspectives. Health Informatics Journal,22(2), 265-275. doi:10.1177/1460458214555041]

Interaction Between Clinicians and Patients

Since mobile apps are made to make users do their jobs easily on mobile devices, mental health apps could be useful for clinicians professionals, and patients. Patients do not have to go to see their clinicians they can just talk to them through an app. Mental health apps give psychiatrists a fast way to take care of their patients. If they ask questions about symptoms, psychiatrists can answer them without seeing them face to face. Mental health apps can be useful for patients as well if they need to see their clinicians immediately in urgent situations. Clinicians can also provide useful information for their patients other than diagnosis-related information, so they can deal with their disorders better. Mental health apps have tracking and recording systems, so clinicians can see their patient’s treatment progress, and they can also acquire information from them for future research and study with healthcare professionals.[footnoteRef:3] [3: Fitzgerald, M., & Mcclelland, T. (2016). What makes a mobile app successful in supporting health behavior change? Health Education Journal,76(3), 373-381. doi:10.1177/0017896916681179]

Access to Abundant Information

As already stated before, mental health patients have access to mental illness-related information on their apps because mobile devices are valuable information sources. They can receive information whenever they want, so they can use it when they are in urgent situations. People have access to abundant information on their laptops, but they do not carry them every time because laptops are not as small as mobile devices, and an internet connection is required to view them unless they are already downloaded. However, if mobile apps have offline information in themselves, patients do not need an internet connection to use it. Additionally, advanced mental health apps could contain videos or audio systems to provide better and more efficient information. This enhances the functionality of mental health apps. Since apps are secondary sources, there are people who question the accuracy of the information that they provide to patients other than what clinicians give. This would be a challenge that mental health apps face. App producers could not be from the mental health field, so they might not provide safe and accurate information. However, this could be prevented if apps had a system that communicates with users to listen to what they need, help with their treatments, and give them relevant advice with cheerful messages, so they do not feel discouraged or have negative emotions. It is also better to be careful with sending suggestions to users because they might be inaccurate to them, so users will find the app annoying, and it will lose its credibility. App producers should keep doing future research on their apps, and that includes monitoring unexpected effects.[footnoteRef:4] [4: Dennison, L., Morrison, L., Conway, G., & Yardley, L. (2013). Opportunities and Challenges for Smartphone Applications in Supporting Health Behavior Change: Qualitative Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research,15(4). doi:10.2196/jmir.2583]

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Peer support is also an important information source that mobile mental health apps can provide. Not every mental patient shares his or her worries and fears confidently with friends and family. Peer support allows patients to share concerns about their disorders with people who have similar concerns through online forums, so patients do not have to feel pressured. Mobile app users are also able to acquire information from communication with other users. They can learn from each other by sharing or asking for information and having arguments.[footnoteRef:5] [5: Moock, J. (2014). Support from the Internet for Individuals with Mental Disorders: Advantages and Disadvantages of e-Mental Health Service Delivery. Frontiers in Public Health,2. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2014.00065]

Provision of Various Trainings

Mobile mental health apps that provide training for patients are very effective. The study proved that testing 22 mobile mental health apps that offer cognitive behavioral therapy (CBC), mindfulness training, mood tracking, and mental skills training to patients with depression is much more compelling. Using apps for relieving depressive symptoms reduced depressed patients’ depressive disorders compared to not using them. They were effective, especially for patients with low-to-middle-grade depression. In terms of anxiety, mobile apps for users who have anxiety reduce their symptoms tremendously by providing face-to-face or online therapies. High-efficacy apps could create high patient engagement because patients are able to receive treatments when they are not seeing their clinicians or in a care center, so they can practice training or therapies anytime they want. Moreover, globally, rural regions are likely to have a deficiency of psychiatrists, so mental health patients in rural regions do not have access to mental health care. Thus, mobile mental health apps are possible to reduce the mental health treatment gap.[footnoteRef:6] [6: Chandrashekar, P. (2018). Do mental health mobile apps work: Evidence and recommendations for designing high-efficacy mental health mobile apps. MHealth,4, 6-6. doi:10.21037/health.2018.03.02]

The Main Ethical Challenge and Its Solution

Mobile mental health apps are useful, but they definitely have some ethical challenges. The main ethical issue regarding mental health apps is validation. Clinicians and patients do not know if the app is safe and credible or not. This challenge can be dealt with by using the certification process. The process must approve the app’s clinical value, ownership, data collection, privacy, and access control. The availability of maintaining and upgrading the app should be confirmed as well. Ways of approving mobile mental health apps can vary.[footnoteRef:7] [7: Bauer, M., Glenn, T., Monteith, S., Bauer, R., Whybrow, P. C., & Geddes, J. (2017). Ethical perspectives on recommending digital technology for patients with mental illness. International Journal of Bipolar Disorders,5(1). doi:10.1186/s40345-017-0073-9]

Conclusions

Mobile mental health apps are useful and efficient if they have strength in safety, engagement, functionality, social interactions, and accessibility. They make both clinician's and patients’ jobs easier because they can communicate without actually seeing each other. They also help users practice treatments and overcome disorders by providing abundant information from apps themselves, users’ clinicians, and peer support and various trainings and therapies that users can receive anywhere they want. Therefore, mobile mental health apps deserve to be promoted by health authorities as an alternative to conventional forms of mental health care.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of mobile technology, the development of mental health apps has shown how targeted applications can significantly enhance the well-being of individuals. For those inspired by the potential of such technology, the journey to build your app can begin with a clear vision and a commitment to improving mental health access and treatment. By focusing on the core principles of engagement, functionality, and user safety, aspiring developers have the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of many. Whether you're a seasoned developer or just starting out, the call to build your app is not just about creating software; it's about crafting a tool that can provide support, guidance, and a sense of community to those navigating the challenges of mental health.

Bibliography

    1. McGonigal, J. (2015, November 09). How Video Games Can Teach Your Brain to Fight Depression. Retrieved from https://slate.com/technology/2015/11/how-video-games-can-teach-your-brain-to-fight-depression.html
    2. Kenny, R., Dooley, B., & Fitzgerald, A. (2014). Developing mental health mobile apps: Exploring adolescents’ perspectives. Health Informatics Journal,22(2), 265-275. doi:10.1177/1460458214555041
    3. Fitzgerald, M., & McClelland, T. (2016). What makes a mobile app successful in supporting health behavior change? Health Education Journal,76(3), 373-381. doi:10.1177/0017896916681179
    4. Dennison, L., Morrison, L., Conway, G., & Yardley, L. (2013). Opportunities and Challenges for Smartphone Applications in Supporting Health Behavior Change: Qualitative Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research,15(4). doi:10.2196/jmir.2583
    5. Moock, J. (2014). Support from the Internet for Individuals with Mental Disorders: Advantages and Disadvantages of e-Mental Health Service Delivery. Frontiers in Public Health,2. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2014.00065
    6. Chandrashekar, P. (2018). Do mental health mobile apps work: Evidence and recommendations for designing high-efficacy mental health mobile apps. MHealth,4, 6-6. doi:10.21037/health.2018.03.02
    7. Bauer, M., Glenn, T., Monteith, S., Bauer, R., Whybrow, P. C., & Geddes, J. (2017). Ethical perspectives on recommending digital technology for patients with mental illness. International Journal of Bipolar Disorders,5(1). doi:10.1186/s40345-017-0073-9
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Persuasive Essay about Apps in Phones. (2024, January 30). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/persuasive-essay-about-apps-in-phones/
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