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2022.02.15 冥想应用程序是否有效?

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发表于 2022-2-16 07:09:00 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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Are meditation apps effective?
New research suggests that they may have benefits—for those who stick with them
Feb 15th 2022


Smartphones are often blamed for contributing to stress and anxiety. But they may be an effective tool for improving mental health, too. Meditation apps such as Calm and Headspace provide users with soothing audio, guided meditations and breathing exercises designed to improve mental well-being. A new paper suggests that their impact could be comparable to those of much costlier forms of in-person therapy.

Advik Shreekumar and Pierre-Luc Vautrey, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recruited 2,384 Americans from Facebook and Instagram to use Headspace. Using a set of detailed mental-health questionnaires, the authors found that, after four weeks, access to the app reduced the share of participants with moderate or severe anxiety by 13 percentage points, or 50%, compared to the control group (who were placed on a waiting list for the app). The share of participants with moderate or severe depression fell by 14 percentage points, or 47%, relative to the control group.

These results should be interpreted with caution. First, participants in the study were recruited based on their interest in trying Headspace. That resulted in a sample that was younger, more female, more educated and more left-wing than the general population. Nearly 85% of participants were women, 44% held graduate degrees and less than 3% identified as Republicans. Second, the study did not include a placebo. In clinical trials, participants are assigned to receive either the treatment or a placebo. In this study such an approach was “not easily implementable,” the authors wrote, which means the mere thought of receiving an effective treatment could have been enough to ease symptoms.



Still, the market for such apps shows no sign of slowing, having surged during the pandemic. Consumer spending on the five leading meditation apps grew by more than 25% in 2021, according to App Annie, a research firm. Consumer spending on mental-health apps is expected to reach nearly $500m in 2022, according to Deloitte, a consultancy, up from $200m in 2019.

But whether such apps have any long-term effects is still unclear. For all their potential benefits, most users lose interest in mental-health apps after only a couple of weeks. Messrs Shreekumar and Vautrey found that 80% of users logged into Headspace at least once during the first two weeks, averaging nearly six minutes per day. But by the fourth week, usage declined “rapidly,” according to the authors. Just half of users logged in at all between the fourth and eight week and only a tenth did so at least once every three days.



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冥想应用程序是否有效?
新的研究表明,它们可能对那些坚持使用的人有好处。
2022年2月15日



智能手机经常被指责为导致压力和焦虑的原因。但它们也可能是改善心理健康的有效工具。Calm和Headspace等冥想应用程序为用户提供了舒缓的音频、有指导的冥想和呼吸练习,旨在改善心理健康。一篇新的论文表明,它们的影响可以与那些成本更高的现场治疗形式相媲美。

麻省理工学院的Advik Shreekumar和Pierre-Luc Vautrey从Facebook和Instagram上招募了2,384名美国人使用Headspace。通过使用一套详细的心理健康问卷,作者发现,在四周之后,与对照组(被列入应用程序的等待名单)相比,使用该应用程序的参与者中患有中度或严重焦虑的比例减少了13个百分点,或50%。与对照组相比,患有中度或重度抑郁症的参与者的比例下降了14个百分点,或47%。

对这些结果的解释应该谨慎。首先,该研究的参与者是基于他们对尝试Headspace的兴趣而招募的。这导致样本比一般人更年轻、更多女性、更多教育程度和更多左翼人士。近85%的参与者是女性,44%拥有研究生学位,只有不到3%的人认为是共和党人。第二,该研究没有包括安慰剂。在临床试验中,参与者被分配接受治疗或安慰剂。作者写道,在这项研究中,这种方法 "不容易实施",这意味着仅仅想到接受有效的治疗就足以缓解症状。

尽管如此,这类应用程序的市场没有显示出放缓的迹象,在大流行期间已经激增。根据研究公司App Annie的数据,2021年,消费者在五个领先的冥想应用程序上的支出增长了25%以上。咨询公司德勤(Deloitte)表示,消费者在心理健康应用程序上的支出预计将在2022年达到近5亿美元,高于2019年的2亿美元。

但是,这类应用程序是否有任何长期效果仍不清楚。尽管它们有潜在的好处,但大多数用户只在几周后就会对心理健康应用程序失去兴趣。Shreekumar和Vautrey先生发现,80%的用户在前两周至少登录过一次Headspace,平均每天近6分钟。但到了第四周,使用率 "迅速 "下降。只有一半的用户在第四周和第八周之间登录过,只有十分之一的人每三天至少登录一次。
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