Examining characteristics of users of the Evia app : digital hypnotherapy for hot flashes.

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Approximately 75% of women experience hot flashes during menopause (Kronenberg, 1990). Hot flashes are burdensome and distressing for those who experience them. It is important to identify treatments for women who are suffering from hot flashes. Nonpharmacological treatments for relieving hot flashes are necessary because pharmacological treatments are either ineffective or have a risk of dangerous side effects. Hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective for reducing hot flashes in randomized clinical trials (Elkins et al., 2008; Elkins et al., 2013), but it is not routinely used in clinical practice. One solution to this implementation gap is to deliver hypnotherapy through a smartphone app. The Evia app was developed to deliver hypnotherapy for hot flashes. The purpose of the current study is to determine the characteristics of users of the Evia app and to determine which user characteristics are associated with length of app use. The information gathered from this study will allow for the Evia app to be tailored and optimized toward its users. Results showed that the average age of app users is in line with the average age of menopause onset, that the largest percentage of users reported experiencing 5 or more hot flashes per day and that they reported their hot flashes to be of moderate intensity. Most users reported difficulty falling asleep each night and reported their sleep quality to be terrible or fair. Most users reported that they sometimes or often feel anxious or depressed. Most Evia subscribers had not heard of hypnotherapy for menopause before and a majority had not tried hypnotherapy before. Most (94%) of Evia subscribers were not referred by a healthcare professional. Hearing about hypnotherapy before, being referred by a healthcare professional, and hot flash severity were not significantly related to length of program use. However, hot flash frequency and hot flash interference were significantly associated with length of program use. These studies were the first to report characteristics of users and factors associated with length of program use of the Evia app. These results will be used to optimize the hypnotherapy program delivered via the Evia app.

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