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Will an app a day, keep the doctor away? A critical look at BPS based phone apps.

Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS News' started by fossil, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. fossil

    fossil Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Will an app a day, keep the doctor away? A critical look at BPS based phone apps.

    In my opinion, these apps may not be designed to keep the doctor away, but to keep patients away from their doctors - in a "don't bother us with your imaginary health problems," kind of way. They seem to be targeted at patients who fall into the MUS - "Medically Unexplained Symptoms" - category.

    The Curable app

    This subscription based app is promoted by the Psychophysiologic Disorders (PPD) Association. PPD is just another acronym for MUS, with a focus on the idea that pain symptoms are a result of unresolved emotional trauma.

    I personally think it's unethical to encourage people to process trauma in an unsupervised environment, via a phone app. Where's the evidence showing this is safe?

    I wonder what personal information they collect from users?

    From their website;

    "WHAT DOES THE CURABLE PROGRAM INVOLVE?

    Every Curable user gets access to Clara, a virtual pain coach. Interacting with Clara is like text messaging a friend. Except in Clara’s case, it’s a friend who wants to talk to you about your pain, has a lot of scientific information at her fingertips, and sends you interesting new lessons and exercises that help you reverse the cycle of pain going on your brain."

    https://www.curablehealth.com/faq

    It claims to be based on science. (I haven't looked at the studies yet, the references aren't titled, and they need to be downloaded, which isn't very user friendly.)

    https://www.curablehealth.com/science

    https://www.curablehealth.com/blog/curable-announces-scientific-advisory-board

    ME/CFS is considered to be a Psychophysiologic Disorder, by the PPDA, and the Curable app makers use testimonials suggesting it can help ME/CFS patients;

    https://www.curablehealth.com/podcast/fiona-recovery-story-chronic-fatigue-syndrome

    ME/CFS is listed as a PPD here;

    https://ppdassociation.org/symptoms

    And Howard Schubiner's view on ME/CFS here;

    https://www.s4me.info/threads/2016-...essful-situations-from-past.6786/#post-122911

    If you have spotted any concerning apps, or have had them recommended to you, or have tried them yourself, please post here.
     
  2. fossil

    fossil Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  3. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  4. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    There is no evidence for the app itself, which has not been tested in any clinical trials. The reference list are a few narrative reviews on "mind-body therapies" and the "biopsychosocial approach", along a few clinical trials with quite varied "mind-body" therapy approaches for conditions like fibromalgia and back pain. None of these references are directly relevant to the app, which needs to be tested on its own (and needs objective outcome measures, since it will inevitably be an unblinded trial)

    The quoted efficacy results are meaningless, since there are a wide variety of uncontrolled response biases, including participation/survival/commitment, social desirability, acquiescence, anchoring etc. (assuming that user answers are genuine in the first place). A lack of long term followup (2 years+) is also a problem.
     
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  5. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is seriously fucked up. Medicine has lost the plot, completely given in to pseudoscience.

    The only comfort is that this insanity will inevitably crash and burn but until then this is genuinely horrific.

    It almost all seems to come down to the distortion of "evidence-based medicine", which is clearly yet another term that has been stripped of all meaning. I guess it was a good idea initially but in practice it's a complete disaster that is being massively abused to promote all sorts of junk science. Who knew removing all the safeguards would end up obliterating all safety?
     
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  6. fossil

    fossil Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    These 12 daily affirmations from the PPDA clearly demonstrate the similarities their BPS model has with the Lightning Process, GET, "false illness beliefs," Central Sensitization, etc. It's just gaslighting vulnerable patients.



    Gaslighting and lack-of-evidence-that-it-actually-works aside, what I think is particularly concerning about this app is its accessibility. It's cheaper than LP, in the short term at least, and appears to be marketed at a younger audience who are tech literate, as it is advertised on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

    How many people will not question the claim that it is based on science, especially when it is promoted by doctors?
     
  7. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’ve tried this app, still have it as I bought a years subscription when on offer and now cannot give it back, will post more when I can on details + screenshots. It’s ridiculous. Made me feel like my trauma was behind it. Also referenced lots of studies but forgot which ones.something about migraines and placebos.

    ETA I’m talking about curable
     
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  8. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Emails mentions cfs in one 95EBA072-1C0F-4C1C-BE7F-21ECAB5AC274.png 81C29A2F-EE4E-4192-A6F9-B9AC31ECDBF1.png 38F8FD2E-AE49-4CCA-BA51-C8458B8E9874.png A969CCCF-C5F8-4323-8ABA-9B7C6B692A85.png 35D5A97F-7466-40A0-B441-17D04488EDBF.png C0564F01-13F3-4AFE-9E96-B6B707356271.png 56019129-686C-4D74-812C-D3920FFC89F5.png EC0BB2F0-E78E-4665-BA40-DA24D0590D76.png
     
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  9. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Uh, no. Calm there, satan.

    This seems mildly appropriate, maybe, for PTSD but I don't know if the author of this drivel is aware that not everyone suffering from chronic disease was born and raised in a war zone, chased by cannibals and having to sleep with a hand-grenade under the pillow just in case the mutant crocodiles pierce the electronic shield warding off killer radiation from space.

    I know many have not been as fortunate as I am but no, not even close, this is not even a bit relevant as a cause. If not for being ambitious I was borderline hippie most of my life, probably too careless and oh yeah I'm sure there's another type of research arguing just that somewhere is there?

    This is straight up pseudoscience. Not pseudoscientish. 100% made-up pseudoscience and, no, there isn't any research showing any of this. There are a lot of people convinced despite a lack of evidence, true, but that is precisely not how science works.

    We're in for a very horrible few years while this pseudoscience revival nightmare unfolds, uh?
     
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  10. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    "widely accepted scientific principle"

    Oh puhleese.

    Plus, the use of testimonials is always a major red flag. Same approach woo merchants and snake oil salesmen take.
     
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  11. ladycatlover

    ladycatlover Moderator Staff Member

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    Look into my eyes and repeat after me... :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
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  12. Liessa

    Liessa Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Also the opposite. There are plenty people who did grow up in war zones and did hug mutant crocodiles who aren't sick. It is so easy to imply 'correlation' when there are so many people who have Life Stuff happening to them at one point or another.

    This all just feeds into the biggest lie of all: that the world is 'fair' and if bad stuff happens to you (and you can't fix it) You Are Doing Things Wrong.

    :facepalm:
     
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  13. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Exactly bad stuff happens to everyone if you live long enough. Even rich people have bad stuff in their lives, poor people multiply that by 10. Makes me sick the way these people twist it round to make money out of people.
     
  14. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  15. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I know. But it’s so easy to get taken in by it. There’s a bit of an obsession with pinning a lot of things on trauma even in general psychology. I had quite serious trauma in my childhood and as a result of that no one took any of my difficulties seriously including anxiety, bullying other issues etc and everything was put down to trauma until someone said oh ok yeah hang on you have a lot of other difficulties and you have ASD.

    And I know someone else who’s been fighting to get a diagnosis but has been told everything is due to trauma so can’t even get an assessment done!

    I’ve been told my IBS is due to trauma.

    I’m so used to being told trauma is the cause of everything throughout my life so when I came across curable and they talked about trauma I kind of believed it.. until it came to the rubber band activity and I realised something is seriously wrong.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  16. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Don’t actually think being a hippie is one of their “predisposing factors”. However according to Curable, being a
    -perfectionist
    -a helper personality
    - a people pleaser
    - having an inner critic
    Does contribute towards you developing MUS.
     
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  17. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  18. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Oh, I only meant it in the sense of being worry-free. As in the very opposite of the "anxious sick" such models always promote.
     
  19. fossil

    fossil Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @lunarainbows, where it says,"For a limited time, our workshops are 50% off," does that mean even though you've paid for the subscription, you have to pay more to access these extras?
     
  20. lunarainbows

    lunarainbows Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes.
    So they have a curable fear busting workshop for around $90

    And curable “groups” which is like an exclusive group you can join with other people and do extra sessions together and have group chats over 12 weeks, it costs I think somewhere around $1600 or $1800
     

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