SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ginger, the leader in on-demand mental healthcare, today announced the publication of new research in The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) that demonstrates the effectiveness of a virtual, on-demand mental health system in reducing the symptoms of anxiety. The data reveal two key findings:
- For certain individuals, behavioral health coaching services can be just as effective as clinical telemental health services in improving symptoms of anxiety.
- The combination of behavioral health coaching and clinical telemental health services can improve symptoms of anxiety more effectively than either care modality alone.
This observational study of 1,611 individuals is the first to compare anxiety outcomes among individuals engaged in three distinct modalities of care: text-based, behavioral health coaching services; telemental health services (teletherapy and remote medication management), and a team-based model comprised of both modalities. Participants were typically treated for 8-12 weeks, during which their anxiety was assessed using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) questionnaire upon beginning and throughout treatment.
The likelihood of a reduction in anxiety symptoms was highest for individuals in the team-based model: about 60% of individuals in this group experienced a reduction in their anxiety symptoms compared to 50% in the coaching-only and clinical-only cohorts. This increased likelihood of symptom improvement for the collaborative group was consistent across all levels of baseline symptom severity (mild, moderate, severe).
“Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in the U.S., and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. In July 2020, about 35% of U.S. adults reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety," said Patricia Areán, Ph.D., a professor in the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a licensed clinical psychologist. "People today urgently need and deserve high-quality mental healthcare that can be quickly deployed at scale; a virtual, team-based care model does just that."
Behavioral health coaching takes an active, goal oriented approach to address a wide array of sub-acute challenges, from sleep, to mood and relationships. At Ginger, behavioral health coaches are available to provide support 24 hours a day, 365 days per year via text-based chat. Coaching meets the needs of approximately 85-90% of Ginger users, and when a member needs additional support, a licensed therapist or psychiatrist can be added to their care team. Recognizing the unique expertise and value of coaching, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced approval of new Category III Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) Codes for health and wellbeing coaching in January 2020.
Ginger’s findings in anxiety mirror results from its previous observational study that investigated the effectiveness of its on-demand approach in reducing symptoms of depression. In that study, 1,662 Ginger members – 93.1% of whom engaged in coaching alone or coaching plus clinical services – showed significant decreases in the proportion of individuals who experienced symptoms more than half the time, as assessed by the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2). Results were published in JMIR in June 2020.
"Whether you work on the tarmac or write code for software, getting great mental healthcare when you need it is essential - especially in the times in which we live," said Dr. Dana Udall, Chief Clinical Officer at Ginger. "Our newest published research shows that innovative, highly-scalable modalities of care, such as text-based behavioral health coaching, are effective - especially when delivered in a virtual team-based care model such as Ginger's on-demand mental health system."
Since its inception, Ginger has been deeply focused on advancing research efforts to improve mental healthcare. Ginger has built one of the world’s largest mental health data sets through its Mood Matters study, conducting research with eight of the top 10 academic medical centers in the U.S., and partnering with over 40 medical institutions nationwide. These programs, as well as Ginger’s internal studies and data-driven quality assurance program, continually inform the development of Ginger’s on-demand mental health system.
At Ginger, we believe that everyone deserves access to incredible mental healthcare. Our on-demand system brings together behavioral health coaches, therapists, and psychiatrists, who work as a team to deliver personalized care, right through your smartphone. The Ginger app provides members with access to the support they need within seconds, 24/7, 365 days a year. Millions of people have access to Ginger through leading employers, health plans and partners. Ginger has been recognized by The World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer, Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare and UCSF’s Digital Health Awards as 2020’s leading Mental Health Company. Learn more about our vision to build a world where mental health is never an obstacle at ginger.com.