Mindful You

 

Challenge:

Though effective for reducing stress and promoting health in many populations, existing mobile apps for mindfulness interventions are not appealing to many African Americans. Current solutions have not been adapted to engage this population.

Solution:

Develop a mindfulness app tailored specifically to the cultural values of the African American community. Mindful You helps users shift from potentially harmful activities to adaptive mindfulness-based activities that align with culturally specific values.

Mindful You features include:

  • Guided meditations connecting the user to the present moment and a place of calm through culturally aligned exercises
  • Notifications prompting users to reflect and engage with the app
  • Periodic messages relaying the importance of mindfulness as a way to increase control over physical and psychological health
  • User-customized reminders

Provocative flyers and posters helped recruit participants for the research study.

Mindful You content is grounded in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an evidence-based behavioral therapy. To tailor the content to an African American audience, Mindful You:

  • Uses African American facilitators
  • Incorporates cultural values within the content
  • Uses culturally-familiar terminology
  • Addresses religious concerns
  • Highlights perceived benefits
  • Emphasizes holistic health

An NIH grant guided Mindful You’s design and testing. Behavioral scientists from Trifoia collaborated with a researcher at Spelman College in the design of the mobile app and its evaluation. Study participants reported:

  • Significant improvements in stress and self-efficacy
  • Higher use of mindfulness strategies
  • Increased self-regulation