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Depress Anxiety. 2017 Jun;34(6):546-554. doi: 10.1002/da.22624. Epub 2017 Apr 18.

The feasibility, acceptability, and outcomes of PRIME-D: A novel mobile intervention treatment for depression.

Author information

University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
IDEO at Palo Alto, Palo Alto, CA, USA.
San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA.
University of Washington in Seattle, Seattle, WA, USA.



Despite decades of research and development, depression has risen from the fifth to the leading cause of disability in the United States. Barriers to progress in the field are (1) poor access to high-quality care; (2) limited mental health workforce; and (3) few providers trained in the delivery of evidence-based treatments (EBTs). Although mobile platforms are being developed to give consumers greater access to high-quality care, too often these tools do not have empirical support for their effectiveness. In this study, we evaluated PRIME-D, a mobile app intervention that uses social networking, goal setting, and a mental health coach to deliver text-based, EBT's to treat mood symptoms and functioning in adults with depression.


Thirty-six adults with depression remotely participated in PRIME-D over an 8-week period with a 4-week follow-up, with 83% retained over the 12-week course of thestudy.


On average, participants logged into the app 5 days/week. Depression scores (PHQ-9) significantly improved over time (over 50% reduction), with coach interactions enhancing these effects. Mood-related disability (Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS)) also significantly decreased over time with participants no longer being impaired by their mood symptoms. Overall use of PRIME-D predicted greater gains in functioning. Improvements in mood and functioning were sustained over the 4-week follow-up.


Results suggest that PRIME-D is a feasible, acceptable, and effective intervention for adults with depression and that a mobile service delivery model may address the serious public health problem of poor access to high-quality mental health care.


digital health; goal setting; mental health coaching; mobile app; pilot study; remote clinical trial; social networking

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