The acceptance and commitment therapy matrix mobile app: A pilot randomized trial on health behaviors

Authors:
Michael E. Levin, Benjamin Pierce, & Benjamin Schoendorff

Abstract:
Mobile apps provide a promising format for delivering acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to improve diet/exercise. This pilot trial evaluated a novel ACT-based app for health behaviors based on the matrix approach. A sample of 23 community adults were randomly assigned to use the app for two weeks or to a waitlist condition. Findings indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the app and acceptable adherence. Although the intent-to-treat sample indicated few intervention effects, when focusing on program engagers only, health behaviors significantly improved in the app condition relative to waitlist. There were no differences between conditions on valued action or experiential avoidance. However, the rate of valued actions increased over days using the app. This was moderated by baseline values and experiential avoidance, suggesting those more psychologically flexible benefit more from the matrix app. An ACT matrix app appears promising for improving health behaviors, but additional revisions and research is needed.

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