Efficacy of mobile app-based interactive cognitive behavioral therapy using a chatbot for panic disorder

Jooyoung Oh, Sooah Jang, Hyunji Kim, Jae Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a well-established treatment for panic disorder, but many fewer patients receive this treatment compared to medication-based therapy. Mobile app-based interactive CBT using a chatbot can increase patient access to CBT. We performed a preliminary study to determine whether short-term use of a newly developed chatbot is feasible and effective for relieving panic symptoms. Method: Forty-one patients were randomly assigned to either a chatbot group (n = 21) or control group (n = 20) for a period of 4 weeks. The chatbot group was guided in the use of the chatbot application, while the control group was provided with a book on panic disorder. Main results: The severity of panic disorder was significantly decreased in the chatbot group, but not in the control group. The social phobia score was significantly decreased and the control helplessness score was significantly increased in the chatbot group compared to the control group. Discussion and conclusion: We found that mobile app-based interactive CBT using the chatbot was feasible and effective for reducing the severity of panic symptoms. Using this novel approach to provide CBT would allow clinicians to effect positive therapeutic outcomes with easy accessibility, interactivity, and self-management for patients with panic symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104171
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics


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