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Development and initial evaluation of a smartphone application based on acceptance and commitment therapy

Kien Hoa Ly12*, JoAnne Dahl2, Per Carlbring3 and Gerhard Andersson14

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Campus Valla, 581 83, Linköping, Sweden

2 Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, von Kraemers allé 1A-C, 751 42, Uppsala, Sweden

3 Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Beteendevetarhuset, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden

4 Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, KarolinskaInstitutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, 141 86, Stockholm, Sweden

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SpringerPlus 2012, 1:11  doi:10.1186/2193-1801-1-11

Published: 31 July 2012



An intervention, consisting of an ACT-based smartphone-application and a web-based psychoeducation, has been developed. The smartphone-application, together with the psychoeducation, aims to function as a self-help intervention for living consistently with one's values. The study is an exploratory investigation of this new smartphone-based tool.

Case description

Primarily, the study aims at investigating a new field, providing a basis for generating hypotheses for further research. The first aim of this initial, exploratory study was to examine if this intervention had an effect on the variables of: valued actions, psychological flexibility, and life satisfaction as well as the states of depression, anxiety and stress, for a non-clinical sample of 11 Swedish Iphone users. This was made with a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design without control group. The second aim was to investigate how the participants experienced the intervention, as measured by a qualitative questionnaire.

Discussion and evaluation

The group analyses showed that the participants increased their valued action and psychological flexibility significantly during the intervention. Furthermore, value-based actions and psychological flexibility showed small effect sizes when comparing pretest and posttest score. However, the design of the study makes it impossible to draw any certain conclusions. The qualitative questionnaire showed a general positive experience of the intervention.


The results from the present study indicated that the intervention should be studied further. The findings also generated a number of hypotheses that could be investigated in further research.