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See Me Serene

App for Reducing Isolation-Related Stress

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Experience Nature

The See Me Serene app provides users with immersive, vivid, nature experiences designed to reduce stress and anxiety related to social isolation. Users are able to select from more than 50 different audio files, each describing a different outdoor experience. The app also contains links to mental health resources that are available 24/7.

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A Guided Imagery Approach

During the COVID-19 pandemic many people are sheltering in place and staying home, with little access to the outdoors or ability to engage in activities they enjoy. The See Me Serene app hopes to address the negative health effects of social isolation by reducing stress and anxiety using a technique called Guided Imagery, which has been used to help people quit smoking, get into shape, and reduce stress. Guided imagery is a proven method that uses enhanced visualization to help people deal with stressful situations, including social isolation. More than just visual images, guided Imagery involves imagining sights, sounds, tastes, smells, tactile senses, and the emotions you feel in a particular situation.

See Me Serene Decorative Beach

Researchers at the University of Arizona led by Dr. Judith Gordon from the College of Nursing conducted a study to test how well the app works. The goals of the See Me Serene research project were to pilot test the app with 100 participants. Participants provided self-report survey data and were tested for cortisol levels collected from saliva. Cortisol is a biological marker for stress. Participants used the See Me Serene app for 4 weeks. This study is now closed.

The results of the study are available here.

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Available for iOS and Android

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The research is funded by the BIO5 Rapid Response Seed Grant was made possible with resources from the BIO5 Institute and the Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) to help researchers quickly pivot their work to address the pandemic in areas related to improving the health of Arizonans. 

The Technology and Research Initiative Fund that helped launch BIO5 in 2001 continues to be a catalyst in enabling effective, cross-disciplinary bioscience research and innovation at the University of Arizona, where initiatives and projects are carefully chosen to align with areas of state and national need.

Over the past 19 years of TRIF, over $50 million has been invested in building critical facilities and research services that UArizona is leveraging today to quickly and robustly respond to the current COVID-19 crisis. TRIF allows the flexibility to pivot and repurpose campus resources to engage in the complex fight against COVID-19, drawing on faculty expertise, campus facilities, logistical assets, research labs, and campus staff and leadership to provide immediate assistance in the battle against the pandemic.