Perfectionism is a common transdiagnostic problem that may lead to substantial distress and functional impairments. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for perfectionism. However, the existing significant barriers to access and utilization of mental health services, including among college students, demand the development of low-intensity accessible interventions. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a low-intensity CBT-based self-help gamified app developed specifically for perfectionism in a sample of college students.
Participants completed assessments of perfectionism, related symptoms, emotional burden and functional impairments at pretreatment, posttreatment and at one-month follow-up.
Compared with the waitlist condition (n = 35), the app condition (n = 35) demonstrated a significant and greater reduction in perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, functional impairments and subjective ratings of emotional burden.
Results suggest that a brief, daily app-based game-like intervention targeting maladaptive perfectionistic beliefs may be a viable, low-cost alternative to traditional CBT treatments for vulnerable populations on college campuses.