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Stigma is a journal and mood tracking app designed to aid with anxiety or mood disorders, which also has a social networking aspect. Users can connect with one another by adding each other as ‘pen pals’. The app requests users to enter various information about themselves so that they can be matched with an appropriate pen pal (they can decline to enter any piece of information). Information requested includes year of birth, the issues they identify with (eg. depression, general anxiety, weight issues), relationship status, and a free text bio. Users also answer questions about the characteristics of their ideal pen pal, how often they would like to interact with them, their level of interest in intellectual conversations, books, and religion, and whether or not they would consider meeting in person with a trusted pen pal. In the ‘Journal’ portion of the app, users can write a free text entry up to 400 characters and choose how they are feeling from a range of options (e.g. tired, okay, calm, productive, etc.). The app can provide a visual representation of mood over a daily, weekly, or monthly period. Users have the option to share journal entries in the community forum, where other users entries can be read, and responded to by clicking a heart icon (the equivalent of a ‘like’) or requesting to connect with the user. This app is free, and users can pay to upgrade to Stigma Pro which allows users to track fitness and to enter longer journal entries.

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Credibility

Overall Score: 2.50/5.00

Research base 0/3
Research support 0/2
Specificity of proposed intervention 2/3
Number of consumer ratings 3/3
Product advisory support 0/1
Software support 2/2

Total 7/14

date of rating:  September 2017


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User Experience

Objective Quality Score: 3.62/5.00

Subscale scores:
Engagement: 3.40
Functionality: 3.75
Aesthetics: 3.67
Information: 3.67

Subjective quality score: 3.25

Perceived impact score: 3.00 3.00

Rating date: February 2018
Rated by: Queensland University


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Transparency

Overall Score: Questionable

Does the app have a privacy policy?: Yes

Does the policy describe the information storage and sharing procedures related to user entered information?: No/Can’t Tell

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 that the app/server encrypts the entered data?: No/Can’t Tell

Does the privacy policy state that users can delete entered information?: No/Can’t Tell

Does the privacy policy state that users can edit entered information?: No/Can’t Tell

Overall Score: Questionable


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More Information

Available for: iOS 9.3 or later (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch)
Developer: Stigma Inc.
Type of Treatment: Symptom trackers
Targeted Conditions: Mood disorders; Stress & Anxiety
Target Audience: Adults
Designed to be used in conjunction with a healthcare professional: No
Languages Available: English
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Get it on:  iTunes

Research on this App

The use of mood tracking in the form of self-rated mood charts is recommended in psychiatric treatment guidelines for mood disorders such as bipolar (Moklowitz et al., 2012). Social networking has also been used in healthcare to maintain or improve peer-to-peer communication (e.g. Grajales, Sheps, Ho, Nocka-Lausche, & Eysenbach, 2014), but there is no evidence to support social networking in the context of this particular app.

  • Grajales III, F. J., Sheps, S., Ho, K., Novak-Lauscher, H., & Eysenbach, G. (2014). Social Media: A Review and Tutorial of Applications in Medicine and Health Care. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.2912
  • Miklowitz, D. J., Price, J., Holmes, E. A., Rendell, J., Bell, S., Budge, K., … Geddes, J. R. (2012). Facilitated Integrated Mood Management for adults with bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorders, 14(2), 185–197. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-5618.2012.00998.x