RESEARCH ARTICLE

Reducing Anxiety Levels Through the Dharma Life App-Based and Mentor-Based Program Targeting Personality Characteristics: A Randomized Control Trial

The Open Psychology Journal 13 May 2024 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118743501284859240502062946

Abstract

Background

Personality factors and cognitive biases may contribute to anxiety. These associations suggest that interventions aimed at ameliorating such personality factors and their underlying cognitive biases may decrease anxiety. The Dharma Life Program uses an app- and mentor-based intervention that intends to ameliorate potentially maladaptive aspects of personality characteristics, such as cognitive biases. We predicted that the Dharma Life Program would lead to greater decreases in anxiety among individuals reporting difficulties with anxiety as compared to a no-treatment control condition.

Method

We recruited 43 participants through social media. Participants were randomly assigned to complete the Dharma Life Program or a no-treatment control group for eight weeks. The intervention and control groups completed baseline and follow-up measures of anxiety symptoms.

Result

Results showed that, although anxiety levels declined for participants in both conditions, participants in the Dharma Life Program group showed greater decreases over time, supporting our hypothesis that the program would ameliorate anxiety.

Conclusions

First, this study provides initial evidence that the Dharma Life Program may be effective in reducing anxiety. Second, the results also suggest more broadly that interventions targeting personality change through modifying cognitive biases may be helpful for people struggling with anxiety-related difficulties.

Clinical Trial Registration Number

NCT06138652.

Keywords: Personality, Anxiety, Personality change, App-based intervention, Mentor, Cognitive biases.
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