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Evaluation of a mobile mindfulness app distributed through on-line stores: a 4-week study
Authors:Chittaro L., Vianello A.
Published in:International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 86, February 2016, pp. 63-80.
Abstract:Recently, interactive approaches aimed at helping people practice mindfulness have appeared in the
literature. However, the few available user studies for such approaches focus only on short-term
effects and are carried out in a lab or in a similar artificial setting. In this study, we aim instead at
assessing the effectiveness of a mobile mindfulness app when used by people in their everyday
contexts and over a prolonged period of time. People could participate in the study by downloading
the app from Apple’s App Store as well as Google Play and by answering a mindfulness
questionnaire at three pre-set times over a 4-week period. Moreover, the app automatically collected
usage data each time it was used and qualitative feedback at the end of the study. Results reveal that
users with no or minimal experience with meditation significantly increased their level of
mindfulness over the 4-week study period. Moreover, the qualitative feedback provided by
participants indicates that the app was positively perceived as beautiful and its usage elicited
positive feelings in most of them. We discuss possible factors that could have contributed to the
obtained results. Finally, we analyze how many users abandoned the study and at what times,
comparing such data with other studies based on app stores distribution, and giving possible