Feasibility and Effectiveness of a Musical Cognitive Restructuring App for Black Middle School Girls03/21/2017
Increasingly, mobile applications are becoming a useful tool in behavioral health interventions. Whereas a number of tools have been developed for use with adult populations, apps specifically designed for youth and minority populations are sorely lacking. In this study we examine the feasibility and effectiveness of a musical cognitive restructuring app to assist Black adolescent girls in managing their negative thoughts. We hypothesized that girls would like the idea of an app, find it helpful to reduce anxiety, and use it on a daily basis to manage negative thoughts. Eighty-eight girls were enrolled in the Sisters United Now (S.U.N.) anxiety intervention. As part of the intervention, girls were introduced and taught to use the SUN app. Girls’ belief about the app prior to, during, and after using the app were assessed. Data was analyzed both quantitatively (X2) and qualitatively (open-coding). Quantitative data indicated girls were excited to use the app, enjoyed recording their theme song, and believed the app would help with anxiety. Both quantitative and qualitative results indicated the initial app was feasible.
However, data indicated effectiveness would be enhanced by the following:
1. Expanding app capabilities beyond musical cognitive restructuring
2. Development of an app that could be placed on girls’ smart phone
3. Development of an internal social media presence
4. Integration of the app with all sessions of the SUN program
Based on this information, the app was upgraded. Effectiveness and feasibility of the upgraded version is currently being assessed.