Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Android News Flash: The PTSD Coach is now available on Android

PTSD Coach (National Center for PTSDis now available on the Android platform. This app, originally created for US veterans, can be useful to anyone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). At this time, the app is really the only real option for the Android platform (at least by my research). In includes many functions, including an evaluation questionnaire, a distress thermometer, tools to manage some PTSD symptoms (ex. progressive muscle relaxation, falling asleep), a tool to find professional support and considerable information about PTSD. You can even schedule periodic self-assessments to prevent symptoms and track progress. For the full original review by Sylvain Roy [see here].

Jocelyn Morettini
Health Psychologist / Neuropsychologist
View Jocelyn Morettini's [LinkedIn] page

Monday, June 20, 2011

Android App Review: Get most of the Pittsburgh Sleep Dairy for free

Many physical and mental illnesses can affect peoples' quality of sleep thereby impeding mental and physical recovery. For example, clients who suffer from a mood disorder such has depression, or an anxiety disorder such has PTSD, often report sleep problems. In addition, those with a comorbid physical ailment such has chronic pain (combined medication side effects), or a sleep disorder (ex. sleep apnea or insomnia) are also likely to report decreased sleep quality. A good initial assessment (and during follow ups) can be paramount to treatment outcomes, and necessary for sleep research. For that purpose, the Pittsburgh Sleep Diary (PghSD) was developed by Dr. Monk and is team at the University of Pittsburgh (Monk et. al., 1994) [read abstract]. It has become a gold standard in sleep research.

My Sleep Diary (by Veyette Software), a free Android app, provides 13 of the  21 most important questions contained in the PghSD (note that if you need the last 8 missing questions, you can instruct your patient to answer them in the Note section of this app and separate answers with commas). Information can then be saved in a .CSV file (comma separated file) that can be imported into programs such as Excel, SPSS, Statistica. This is a great app that I recommend to any clinical psychologist, medical professionals or sleep researchers.

Jocelyn Morettini
Health Psychologist / Neuropsychologist
View Jocelyn Morettini's [LinkedIn] page

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Stress Free with Dr. Elaine Smith

Feel like you need to unwind? Download your free copy of Stress Free with Dr. Elaine Smith! Her app uses psychological approches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and it's packed with useful information about anxiety. It also contains HD videos (Ocean shore & fireplace) to guide mindfulness exercises, which in my opinion, are what makes this application unique. The iPhone app itself is at first a little hard to navigate, and the sound will only work with earphones. The iPad version allows sound over the internal speakers, and the bigger screen makes scrolling easier. Overall, the app is appropriate for clients who can learn CBT and Mindfulness based techniques [About mindfulness]. 

When you first use the application you are brought to the home page, which provides an introduction to the app and a list of activities. Still your mind takes the user on a short adventure with a  short and calming video of the ocean intertwined with classical music.  It instructs the user on mindfulness practices. Take a break is a short calming video of a fire place that gives users the ability to take a time-out during the day. Reframe your thoughts contains educational materials that helps people reframe their thoughts. Finally, my favorite, the Relaxation Response is a neat relaxing tool that I will simply let you discover on your own.

To download the iPhone app [click here]
To download the iPad version [click here]
To visit her website [click here]
To see her LinkedIn profile [click here]

Sylvain Roy, Ph.D.
Join me on LinkedIn
Follow us on Twitter @ PsychMobileTech

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Android App Review: How to increase sustained attention on the task at hand

Have you ever had a patient who had problems completing his tasks? Maybe you had a patient with cognitive problems following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Maybe you had a patient who is a procrastinator and always seems to drift away from what he has to do. Maybe you had a patient in a progressive desensitisation program for OCD, PTSD or Phobia that had problem staying focused on the exposition task. Whatever the reason, you might find yourself in need for a way to remind you patient to come back to the task.

If you said yes to any of the above, this app is for you. StayOnTask is a free app created by Jay Muntz. It’s a very simple app that does only one thing: it verifies with you at random time if you are still doing the task that you are supposed to do. This app can run on the foreground of your Android or in the background if that’s preferable to you. You can choose the minimal and maximal time interval in-between each query for “on task or not” (from 1 to 90 minutes). The graphic interface is simple, clean but very intuitive and well designed. You can also choose the volume of the alarm and set vibration. Since you have the ability to choose the interval in which there will be a query, you can then control the annoyance or distractibility effect it might have. You would probably choose a short interval for a cognitive patient with a TBI, but a long interval for a student having difficulty focussing on his studies. It is a great tool for any neuropsychologists and cognitive-behavioural therapists.

Jocelyn Morettini
Health Psychologist / Neuropsychologist

Sunday, June 5, 2011

May/June issue in the National Psychologist - Mobile technology: Opportunities and dangers

Make sure to get your copy of this month's National Psychologist. It showcases several interesting articles, including my own on the topic of mobile applications for psychologists.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Would you like to write a review?

It is becoming apparent to me that more and more applications are making their way on the markets and reviewing them should be a group effort.

If you are a psychologist or graduate student in psychology and you have been using mobile applications in your practice, would you like to write a short review about it?

Let me know!