Harnessing the Science of Supportive Accountability

The enormous potential of technology-delivered interventions to bridge gaps in educational and mental health has been hampered by low engagement, improper use, and high rates of non-completion. In fact, as many as three-quarters of users don’t complete the recommended number of app or online sessions once they start. 
  • When blended with coaches and mentors who are trained to provide supportive accountability (e.g., regular check-ins, monitoring, encouraging, nudging, troubleshooting) apps and other technology-delivered interventions can produce results that rival face-to-face interventions.
  • Compared to self-guided apps, educational and wellness apps that incorporate supportive accountability are twice as effective according to a recent meta-analysis of sixty-six randomized control trials of apps.
  • Studies have shown that supportive accountability need not be delivered in person and requires relatively little time on the part of the coach or mentor. Clearly, there is a role for mentors, teachers, parents, and others in providing such reminders and guidance.

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