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Pacifica is an app designed to help those experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression. Created with principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Pacifica is divided into five modules which aim to impart skills that can help reduce the intensity and frequency of anxiety, worry, panic or depression. The modules allow users to rate their mood multiple times per day; learn and practice relaxation techniques, including mindfulness mediation; record and analyze thoughts during incidents of stress or anxiety; set wellness goals and keep track of progress; complete suggested activities; and engage in behavior experiments to test and apply new abilities. Pacifica also allows users to track changes in their moods over time. Other newer features include a peer support community, hope board, and a ‘find a therapist’ feature.

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Credibility

Overall Score: 2.85/5.00

Overall Score: 8/14

Research Base: 0/3
Research Funding: 0/2
Proposed Intervention: 2/3
Consumer Ratings: 3/3
Clinical Input in Development: 1/1
Software Support: 2/2

Date of Rating: February 2018


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User Experience

Objective Quality Score: 4.70/5.00

Subscale scores:
Engagement: 4.40
Functionality: 4.75
Aesthetics: 5.00
Information: 4.67

Subjective quality score: 4.13

Perceived impact score: 4.08

Rating date: August 2016
Rated by: Queensland University


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Transparency

Overall Score: Acceptable

Overall Score: Acceptable
Does the app have a privacy policy?: Yes
Does the privacy policy describe the information storage and sharing procedures related to user entered information, OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes
Does the privacy policy state that the app/server encrypts/de-identifies the entered data OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes
Does the app provide the option of a pin entry or log-in process to view and enter user data?: Yes
Does the privacy policy state whether or not users can use the app WITHOUT entering identifiable information, OR state that user information is stored locally?:Yes
Does the privacy policy state whether or not users can delete entered information OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes
Does the privacy policy state whether or not users can edit entered information OR state that user information is stored locally?: Yes


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More Information

Available For: iOS 9.0 or later; Android compatibility varies with device
Developer: Pacifica Labs Inc.
Type of Treatment: Cognitive Behavioral Principles, Mindfulness, Symptom Tracking/Self-Monitoring
Targeted Conditions: Mood Disorders, Stress & Anxiety
Target Audience: Not Specified
Designed to be used in conjunction with a healthcare professional: No, but recommended
Languages Available: English
Cost: Free
Get it oniTunesGoogle Play, Online

Research on this App

As of yet, there are no peer-reviewed published studies of Pacifica, however there are a number of studies supporting it’s efficacy. In a brief, small-scale pilot evaluation of a range of mental health apps with mental health practitioners and patients, Pacifica came recommended by patients and clinicians (Vu & Frazer, 2016). A review of apps by the National Health Service (UK) explored therapist’s experiences of using Pacifica alongside face-to-face counseling in students experiencing depression or anxiety, and results suggested that the app could facilitate the therapeutic process (Minton, Kyanston, & Jones, 2016). Qualitative results from a study comparing counseling alone to counseling with Pacifica showed that the app appeared to have a preventative effect for stress symptoms (Broglia et al., 2016).