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Open AccessArticle

Smartphone Application in Postgraduate Clinical Psychology Training: Trainees’ Perspectives

Department of Psychology, College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Singapore 387380, Singapore
College of Healthcare Sciences, Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Queensland 4811, Australia
Family Medicine and Primary Care, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 308232, Singapore
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4206;
Received: 13 September 2019 / Revised: 25 October 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
M-learning refers to the learning that takes advantage of mobile technologies. Although research shows enhanced educational outcomes from m-learning in some Asian countries, the generalizability to postgraduate clinical psychology training in Singapore remains unclear. Current professional standards in clinical psychology training emphasize the importance of attainment of clinical competencies in trainees. Although learning theories indicated potential for m-learning to be incorporated into the local clinical psychology curriculum, trainees’ perspectives have not been adequately explored on m-learning. The study aimed to address this gap by exploring the use of m-learning via a novel smartphone application in clinical psychology training using mixed-methods design. Eight clinical psychology trainees between the ages of 26 to 43 years old (mean age of 31.75, SD = 5.49) enrolled in a relevant coursework subject were recruited. Participants were randomly allocated to the experimental and control groups. The experimental group accessed the novel application weekly, from week 1 to week 6, and participants in the control group accessed the application after week 6. Participants from both groups completed a brief demographic questionnaire, and the following scales New General Self-Efficacy Scale adapted for Education (NGSES-E) and self-reported scale of learning outcomes (SLO). The qualitative study explored how participants perceived and experienced the novel application. Participants from the experimental group were invited to provide open-ended responses about the novel application. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results from the qualitative analysis yielded four themes of: Convenience, preferred learning style, building confidence, and putting theory into practice. Findings from the qualitative study were consistent with previous studies about advantages of m-learning: That the e-platform was convenient, the learning style was engaging, which helped to build confidence, and facilitate practical learning of skills. The qualitative results were helpful in understanding the users’ perspectives and experience of the novel application, indicating that future research in this innovative area is necessary. However, the quantitative outcomes were not significant, limitations would be discussed, and recommendations made for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: clinical psychology education; self-efficacy; smartphone application; mixed methods; m-learning clinical psychology education; self-efficacy; smartphone application; mixed methods; m-learning
MDPI and ACS Style

Choo, C.C.; Devakaran, B.; Chew, P.K.H.; Zhang, M.W.B. Smartphone Application in Postgraduate Clinical Psychology Training: Trainees’ Perspectives. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4206.

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