World-first mobile app to help ease OCD

The world’s first evidenced-based mobile app to tackle obsessive-compulsive disorder is a step closer to reality, thanks to backing from AFFIRM.

OCD Stop! was jointly designed by a team of mental health and computer science experts at the Australian National University under the leadership of Professor Michael Kyrios and Dr Daniel Fassnacht.

The app includes five treatment modules which help users deal with symptoms such as anxiety.

Screenshots from the OCD Stop! App
Screenshots from the OCD Stop! App

Users can develop their own personal targets and monitor their progress. Each module also includes videos of people talking about their own experiences with OCD, which have been shown to increase engagement.

Video from OCD Stop!
Screenshot of video from OCD Stop!

About three in every hundred people will develop OCD at some point in their lives. The anxiety disorder is characterised by recurring unwanted impulses and obsessions, which can seriously interfere with everyday life.

People with OCD are often reluctant to seek treatment out of fear of stigma and shame. It’s hoped those people will feel more comfortable turning to a mobile app when in need.

A first round of testing involving 179 participants showed the “effects of OCD Stop! were of a large positive magnitude”.

The app’s design team has been revising the functionality in preparation for further focus groups in March and April before a human ethics application is submitted.

The project has been made possible by a generous donation to AFFIRM from the John James Memorial Foundation.John James Foundation logo