STUDY DIARY APP
Available on the App Store and the Google Play Store
With the advent of technology, mobile application diaries are more convenient to use and access. They are less cumbersome and can be downloaded onto a mobile device so participants can be more diligent in filling entries out.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The App is used by the study participants to record memory intrusions.
Participants are prompted to describe the intrusive memory based on its: vividness, level of distress, and the date and contexts in which it surfaced.
The App displays the option of specifying whether a memory was a thought, an image, or both, or if no intrusive memories were experiences that day. To prompt daily entries, the App automatically sends a reminder notification to participants every day at 6 PM.
Experimenters can track the participants' diary entries live on a private server that also records the date and time of entry submission and any modifications of the entries done by the participants.
Who would find this useful?
Experimenters doing research on memory can greatly benefit from the App. For example, in trauma research, studies wishing to track traumatic flashbacks can have participants record any such instances.
The App allows experimenters to collect self-report data that has greater validity and integrity.
What makes it better?
The App tracks diary entries when they have been submitted, and also any modification (i.e. edits) made to previous entries. Moreover, the App prompts participants to make diary entries to reduce the odds of forgetting to make a diary entry.
This mobile-based App supports the increasing global digitalisation and reaches out to participants who may be more technologically-inclined.
How can it improve research?
The App improves the data integrity of studies relying on self-records. The notification system reduces the chances of participants forgetting to record entries for each day. Experimenters may also choose to monitor participants' diary entries off-site and remind participants to use the App.
Its mobility and accessibility also improve participant engagement.
ARE THERE OTHER EQUIVALENT APPS?
To date, the Study Diary App is the only free application available on both the iOS and Android platforms: the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Additionally, it allows experimenters to store and manage data from an independent secure server.
The following App features are currently in development and will be available in the next App update (end-July 2018):
Server improvements to increase data security and accesibility
A 'Help' tab in the App itself for participants to refer to the diary instructions
A contact button unique to each study for participants to contact their researchers
Offline-capabilities: Participants will be able to add entries without an internet connection, and entries will be automatically uploaded upon connection to the internet
UCL Programmers Aleksey Rozhnov and Miquel Vidal developed the Android and iOS versions of the App, respectively.