International Journal of Psychology & Behavior Analysis Volume 5 (2019), Article ID 5:IJPBA-164, 6 pages
Research Article
Using an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy app to Reduce Anxiety for Students and Employees

Rebecca J. Sargisson1,*, Fengshan Li1, Deborah Lobo1 and Maree Roche2

1School of Psychology, University of Waikato, New Zealand
2School of Human Resources and Leadership, University of Waikato, New Zealand
Dr. Rebecca Joanne Sargisson, School of Psychology, University of Waikato, Durham St, Tauranga 3112, New Zealand, Phone: +64 7 8379580; E-mail:
01 November 2019; 24 December 2019; 26 December 2019
Sargisson RJ, Li F, Lobo D, Roche M (2019) Using an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy app to Reduce Anxiety for Students and Employees. Int J Psychol Behav Anal 5: 164. doi:
The research was supported by the ACTCompanion® developers through the donation of free access to apps for our participants.


Smartphone applications may ensure greater access to services for the many people who experience anxiety and other psychological issues but do not receive adequate treatment. ACTCompanion® is a mHealth application that incorporates Acceptance and Commitment Therapy principles into daily exercises that assist the user to confront their negative internal experiences and work towards valued outcomes. We used a single-subject A-B design with nine students and 10 employees experiencing high daily anxiety. Participants completed a battery of questionnaires before and after app use. They completed the DAS-A regularly so we could monitor anxiety levels over time. Daily anxiety levels reduced in the intervention phase, and remained low for six participants for whom follow-up data were available. There was also a significant improvement in scores of anxiety, depression, stress, positive and negative effect, psychological flexibility, and mindfulness. Our results suggest that mHealth applications have potential to improve people’s psychological functioning.