A pilot study of the DBT coach: an interactive mobile phone application for individuals with borderline personality disorder and substance use disorder.
ABSTRACT Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has received strong empirical support and is practiced widely as a treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD) and BPD with comorbid substance use disorders (BPD-SUD). Therapeutic success in DBT requires that individuals generalize newly acquired skills to their natural environment. However, there have been only a limited number of options available to achieve this end. The primary goal of this research was to develop and test the feasibility of the DBT Coach, a software application for a smartphone, designed specifically to enhance generalization of a specific DBT skill (opposite action) among individuals with BPD-SUD. We conducted a quasiexperimental study in which 22 individuals who were enrolled in DBT treatment programs received a smartphone with the DBT Coach for 10 to 14 days and were instructed to use it as needed. Participants used the DBT Coach an average of nearly 15 times and gave high ratings of helpfulness and usability. Results indicate that both emotion intensity and urges to use substances significantly decreased within each coaching session. Furthermore, over the trial period, participants reported a decrease in depression and general distress. Mobile technology offering in vivo skills coaching may be a useful tool for reducing urges to use substances and engage in other maladaptive behavior by directly teaching and coaching in alternative, adaptive coping behavior.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Marsha M Linehan, Feb 25, 2014
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This pilot study explored the feasibility of mobile media players as a resource to help veterans in recovery for alcohol abuse and dependence disorders. Twenty veterans, enrolled in intensive outpatient treatment at a Veterans Hospital, participated in this study. Participants were provided an iPod loaded with recovery-related audio podcasts, and surveys were conducted before and after the intervention. Participants generally indicated they used the device regularly, thought it was useful and wished they had access to this type of support earlier in their recovery process.Journal of Technology in Human Services 10/2013; 31(4):321-336. DOI:10.1080/15228835.2013.855995
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Virtues, broadly understood as stable and robust dispositions for certain responses across morally relevant situations, have been a growing topic of interest in psychology. A central topic of discussion has been whether studies showing that situations can strongly influence our responses provide evidence against the existence of virtues (as a kind of stable and robust disposition). In this review, we examine reasons for thinking that the prevailing methods for examining situational influences are limited in their ability to test dispositional stability and robustness; or, then, whether virtues exist. We make the case that these limitations can be addressed by aggregating repeated, cross-situational assessments of environmental, psychological and physiological variables within everyday life-a form of assessment often called ecological momentary assessment (EMA, or experience sampling). We, then, examine how advances in smartphone application (app) technology, and their mass adoption, make these mobile devices an unprecedented vehicle for EMA and, thus, the psychological study of virtue. We, additionally, examine how smartphones might be used for virtue development by promoting changes in thought and behavior within daily life; a technique often called ecological momentary intervention (EMI). While EMA/I have become widely employed since the 1980s for the purposes of understanding and promoting change amongst clinical populations, few EMA/I studies have been devoted to understanding or promoting virtues within non-clinical populations. Further, most EMA/I studies have relied on journaling, PDAs, phone calls and/or text messaging systems. We explore how smartphone app technology provides a means of making EMA a more robust psychological method, EMI a more robust way of promoting positive change, and, as a result, opens up new possibilities for studying and promoting virtues.Frontiers in Psychology 05/2015; 1(6). DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00481 · 2.80 Impact Factor
Journal of Technology in Human Services 08/2014; 32(3):201-219. DOI:10.1080/15228835.2014.930680