Koko is a crowdsourced mental health app ideal for individuals struggling with depressive or mood disorders. The app allows anonymous users to connect with social networks to share concerns ranging from stress management skills to suicidal ideation. The application utilizes artificial intelligence learning to detect high-risk clients and scales up the type of source provided based on the level of distress. Koko starts out with a text-like conversation to better understand the user’s specific needs and goals, establishing that the forum serves as a safe space for individuals. The introductory modules also establish how the user can effectively support others through mock scenarios and replies. Koko allows the user to either get help after describing their most negative thoughts, or help others in need of support. The no-frills user interface allows for quick correspondence for individuals to gain support in a positive and collaborative environment.

Available for: Mobile devices, Computers (via Koko’s specialized messenger, Facebook Messenger, Kik, Telegram, or Twitter)
Company Name: Koko
Classification (Type of Treatment): Cognitive Behavioral Principles, Problem Solving Therapy
Targeted conditions: Mood disorders, Depressive disorders
Target demographics: Adolescents, Young Adults
Special provider necessary: No
Languages Available in: English (Available in non-English languages where supported and available)
Where to get it: Koko

Expert ratings and reviews

PsyberGuide rating: The research and support basis of the product

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

Total 11/14

date of rating:  August 2017

Explanation of the rating factors

MARS rating

Quality scores range from 1 to 5, where 5 is the maximum score

  Not yet available

Expert review

Read the expert review by Adam Powell, Ph.D

Research on the product

Koko itself has not undergone formal research evaluation, however, it is based on a web-based platform, Panoply, which was evaluated in a general population. Initial evaluations of Panoply found benefits in reductions of depressive symptoms as well reductions in perseverative thinking and increases in cognitive appraisal which were the intended targets for the cognitive restructuring activities underlying Panoply (Morris, Schueller, & Picard, 2015).

Morris, R. R., Schueller, S. M., & Picard, R. W. (2015). Efficacy of a web-based, peer-to-peer cognitive reappraisal platform: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17, e72.

“The Panoply platform produced significant improvements from pre to post for depression (P=.001), reappraisal (P<.001), and perseverative thinking (P<.001). The expressive writing platform yielded significant pre to post improvements for depression (P=.02) and perseverative thinking (P<.001), but not reappraisal (P=.45).”

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