Study Template: Meditation App Evaluation Template

Meditation apps are hot right now. In 2017, Apple chose Calm as the App of the Year. Headspace, another meditation app, raised almost forty million in venture capital.  Headspace’s founder has made appearances on daytime and late night talk shows along with Hollywood celebrities and Washington politicians.  There’s an increasing awareness that meditation may have significant health benefits. But what apps work for you (and what apps don’t?) And for what? This basic Meditation App Evaluation Template will help you find out.

A meta-analysis conducted in 2015 identified more than 700 different apps on the app store. About 40 of those apps, including HeadSpace, were deemed high quality1. However, As is common in the tech space, new entrants, like Calm weren’t included, in this analysis, as it hadn’t launched yet.

This template lets anyone launch a classic randomized immediate and delayed arm intervention approach. Some participants will be randomized into an arm, and after a set of baseline, questions will immediately be presented with access to a mindfulness meditation app. Others will not get access to that meditation app for 30 days. Everyone is followed up at the end of the study at day 60.

Launching a Meditation App Evaluation

Meditation has been shown to improve everything from blood sugar2levels to workplace performance3. In this template, you should choose two primary outcome measures.  By clicking on the dotted boxes, you’ll be able to choose from hundreds of measurements. Maybe your interest is in meditation to improve sleep quality and thus improve lousy nutrition choices. Or perhaps it’s to reduce parental stress and enhance workplace productivity. The potential combinations are almost endless. Just click and search.

This template includes the Five Facets Mindfulness Scale4 to measure the change at baseline, midpoint (30-day), and 60-day. Study designers may choose to replace this scale with other mindfulness measures in the library if preferred. Those alternatives include the Toronto Mindfulness Scale or the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory among others.

Research designers will want to create a relationship with their app provider to get a promotion code to open access and track usage of participants. ProofPilot has some connections. Please reach out to for assistance.

The Mediation App Evaluation Participant Experience

The participant experience is relatively standard. Participants will answer questions at baseline, 30 days, and 60 days. Depending on the arm, participants will receive access to the meditation app via a promo code.

Analyzing Results from the Mediation App Evaluation

The simplicity of this study design provides relatively straightforward analytical options. Because of the immediate and delayed arm approach, you get the best of a treatment versus no treatment comparison at the 30-day point. Do follow-up measures at the 30-day point show real differences between the two arms? And then, the 60-day follow up shows whether there is continued improvement.

Mani M, Kavanagh D, Hides L, Stoyanov S. Review and Evaluation of Mindfulness-Based iPhone Apps. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2015;3(3):e82. [PubMed]
Bay R, Bay F. Combined therapy using acupressure therapy, hypnotherapy, and transcendental meditation versus placebo in type 2 diabetes. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2011;4(3):183-186. [PubMed]
Elder C, Nidich S, Moriarty F, Nidich R. Effect of transcendental meditation on employee stress, depression, and burnout: a randomized controlled study. Perm J. 2014;18(1):19-23. [PubMed]
Tran U, Glück T, Nader I. Investigating the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ): construction of a short form and evidence of a two-factor higher order structure of mindfulness. J Clin Psychol. 2013;69(9):951-965. [PubMed]

What's included in Meditation App Evaluation Template?

There are various measurements, interventions, decision rule tasks in studies.For more detail on what this study includes, along with links for more information on each task scroll down

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