Development of a Mental Health Application: A Formative Evaluation

Moon Heum Cho, Yunjeong Chang, Dong Hun Lee, Yejin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although numerous mental health applications (apps) are available to the public, the process behind their development is unclear. Many researchers doubt the validity of the mental health content in existing apps and have criticized the lack of evidence-based content regarding the targeted mental health issues, such as trauma, anxiety, and depression. The purpose of this study is to systematically describe the entire process of designing, developing, and evaluating a mental health app in South Korea. Using an instructional systems model, we describe the entire mental health app design and development process through five phases: analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation (ADDIE). Using those phases, we conducted expert reviews and usability tests and examined whether the mental health app helped to improve the emotional and psychological issues of users. Overall, participants were highly satisfied with the mental health app, specifically for low- and medium-risk conditions. Our mental health app demonstrated its potential to cultivate mental health literacy and reach a large Korean audience. Further implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022


  • formative evaluation
  • mental health mobile application
  • usability
  • user engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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