SPIRIT - Sander Boer 2020-04-27¢  their obsessive thoughts nor their compulsive...

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Transcript of SPIRIT - Sander Boer 2020-04-27¢  their obsessive thoughts nor their compulsive...

  • 02 This is a personal project in the Desig Thinking class. I decided to create a mental health app.

    SPIRIT OCD app

    BRIEF Create an app as a mobile treatment tool that improves the life of people suffering of OCD and assist their therapy.



    Patients, who suffer from obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) need professional help. People with OCD are driven by unreasonable thoughts and un- warranted fears, referred to as “obsessions” that make you feel anxious and distressed. Compulsi- ons may help the affected individuals to relieve this distress temporarily but obsessions soon return and the cycle begins again.

    Affected individuals are unable to control neither their obsessive thoughts nor their compulsive ac- tivities. Compulsive washing, for example, is com- monly performed in response to obsessive fears of contamination. The treatment involves counselling, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and sometimes medication (Boileau 2011, Lack et al. 2012, Grant 2014, Craner et al. 2017, Brakoulies et al. 2017).

    Several studies have shown that mobile Apps can help to detect and treat mental health disorders and increase wellbeing in these individuals (Kim et al. 2009, Bennekon et al. 2017). Using mobile technology is a cost-effective way to enhance the efficiency of CBT treatment and may even be applied for self-treatment under supervi- sion by a professional psychiatrist or psychologist (Greist et al. 2002). An app for the special and indi- vidualized self-treatment of CBT is not available so far.

  • OLIVER 36 year- old product designer

    LAURA 21 year- old medical student

    FELIX 25 year- old food chemist

    “Since my elder brother has passed away I have become anxious and unsecure”

    “I am always worried that my parents would die in case that I would not follow my strict decontami-

    nation rules”

    “I get very anxious when the books and papers on my desk are not symmetrically aligned”


    He spends a lot of time trying to get the symmetry ‘just right’ in his per- sonal surroundings. This checking and ordering takes a lot of his time and energy so that he is often late for work and appointments.

    His coworkers think that he is a perfectionist who fails to be creative.

    He avoids social contact at home to prevent his symmetry and order to be disrupted.being disrupted.

    She avoids to use public transport as there are too many germs every- where. When her roommates touch door handles or light switches she can- not touch these items thereafter without putting her sleeve over her hand.

    The roommates consider her to be too neat and clean but she explains to them in medical terms the risks of transferring dangerous infections by simple touching.

    He is unable to leave the house wi- thout double-checking that all the windows are closed, the cooker is turned off and the door is locked.

    Sometimes he returns after leaving home, just to check again.

    The more stressed he feels the less control he has over his compulsive checking


    The ways in which symptoms of obsessive-compul- sive disorder (OCD) are experienced varies widely from person to person. Clinicians and researchers suggest that OCD can be divided into different ty- pes based on the nature of the symptoms experi- enced by an affected person.

    By creating User Personas I categorized the most common forms of OCD, symmetry obsessions, con- tamination obsessions, and compulsive checking and some of the fears associated with them. By analyzing the interviews with the patient and with the psychiatrist as well as from studying the litera- ture I was able to figure out the needs of fictional personas and to infer as yet unmet needs for the therapeutic process where the design of an app would make the difference.

  • Anxiety and feeling like a prisoner in your own mind.

    “I don‘t always show these symptoms but my anxiety (or whatever it is) is always there.“


    Understanding what drives a person to continue performing the seemingly nonsensical and repeti- tive behaviors, that Obsessive-Compulsive Disor- der (OCD) creates, is difficult, but partly it is due to the perception of the perceived level of danger and threat that a person with OCD believes may cause harm to themselves or a loved one.

    For someone without OCD it may be difficult to fully understand how such an intrusive thought can have such power over a person. The OCD pati- ent collage visualized these intensive feelings and thoughts.

    “The obessions rule your mind, actions and your whole day. Because of the compulsions you are like a prisoner of your own mind. You don’t trust that you are stronger than them. You feel scared be- cause of this. It feels like something which is not you but that controls you.”


    Together the interviews with the patient and the in- terview with Dr. Rosenau provide a good picture of the woes of a patient with OCD and the needs for treatment. Although the two interviews look at the problems from different angles they allow conclusi- ons that an app with specific tools may provide an andvantage fort he treatment of such individuals. The statement of the patient that she suffers from her obsessions and she longs for a change is very interesting in the context of the designed app. This statement can be generally interpreted as a good basis for seeking und persuing professional therapy. The interviewed patient wishes that things with therapy would proceed faster, but the psychologists only gives her appointments at long time intervals.

    This is a shortage that is also reported from the li- terature. Although Dr Rosenau states that he only performs face-to-face therapy in patients with OCD he does not reject the possibility of a thera- py aid by electronic media since he knows from the literature that it works. He underlines the need for consequent psychotherapy as soon as possible un- der the auspices of a professional therapist. In the special case of the interviewed patient the support of therapy and partial self-therapy with the help of an app appears to be appropriate since she wants to proceed faster and also to contribute herself to major parts of the therapy.



    LAURA 21 year- old medical student. She has contamination obsessions

    In her daily routine she has to touch a lot of door handles.

    She has to wash her hands im- mediately after touching it, so- metimes 100 times a day

    She is using her gloves a lot and is cleaning everything at home.

    Exercise, self-treatment tool for daily use.

    Panic button, breathing exercise and reflection, which helps to better cope with the situation.

    Based on the insights given by the interview with an OCD patient suffering from Contamination Ob- sessions, the Personas, and additional research I created a Customer Journey. The Customer Jour- ney map is a visual or graphic interpretation of the overall story from the perspective of patients with OCD on their relationship with the mental health app “Spirit”. The story is told from the customer’s perspective, but also emphasizes the important in- tersections between user expectations and require- ments.

    I created two scenarios based on the fictional Per- sona Laura. She is suffering from contamination obsessions and uses the app in her daily routine. Scenario one illustrates the daily life routine of a person with OCD. Scenario 2 is an unforeseen cir- cumstance of an exposure to one of her obsessions.

    Laura performs an exercise with the app in the train.

    Touching the handle of a pu- blic train without washing the hands thereafter

    An unforeseen circumstance: Laura meets a friend in the train

    Laura is confronted with his hug when he is driving home from working in the hospital, one of Laura‘s most terrifying places.

    She cannot wear her clothes anymore and has to wash them in order to avoid possible conta- mination.

    This situation produced anxiety and panic for Laura. She has to give in to her compulsive wa- shing rituals immediately.

    She considers different ways of contamination and cannot stop thinking about that.

    She is taking an excessive shower for more than an hour and then still feels contamina- ted.


    This app will help create exercises to diminish OCD symptoms, set practice goals and rewards to incre- ase motivation and consistency (the keys to suc- cess with CBT), provide a multitude of tools to help fight OCD at any given moment (including specific tools for checking compulsions and contamina- tion fears), and allow users (and any professional they may be working with) to track and monitor their progress. The app will enable users to utilize this program as an effective self-help tool or as an adjunct to therapy with a professional. The self- treatment technique of Spirit is based on the Mind- fulness and Exposure Response Prevention planning and training.

    creates motivation by setting own goals

    displays progress, provides the pati- ents a overview of their “worry list“.

  • minimal clean, high astethic, simple symbols, outlines

    claming an