Computer-Based Training in Panic Control Treatment for Adolescents

Period of Performance: 06/01/2008 - 05/31/2009


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Behavioral Tech Research, Inc.
Seattle, WA 98105
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This is a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR; R43/44) grant application to NIMH to support the further development and testing of an innovative, online training program in Panic Control Treatment for Adolescents (PCT-A). The current application represents a cooperative partnership between the PI's small business concern, Behavioral Tech Research, Inc., a company with an impressive history of developing innovative training programs for psychosocial treatments, and the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University, where PCT-A was developed and evaluated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). PCT-A is a cognitive-behavioral, evidence-based treatment for panic disorder in adolescence and a developmental modification of the "gold standard" treatment for panic disorder in adulthood (Panic Control Treatment; PCT). The proposed online training program will substantially aid in the vital training of community mental health clinicians and other community practitioners in the utilization of this evidence-based treatment with adolescents. Specifically, the aims of this Phase II proposal are to: 1) Build on the successful development of the initial PCT-A online training prototype by creating a version that encompasses all relevant PCT-A content and materials; 2) In creating the PCT-A online training in its entirety, we will add additional case-based scenarios and expand interactivities to further facilitate interest and to ensure generalization to clinical practice; 3) We will continue to attend to usability and satisfaction variables by conducting extensive individual interviews with end-users during an iterative development process, and; 4) We will conduct a randomized control trial (N=120), comparing the completed online training to the two most common forms of training in new treatment modalities instructor-led and text-based training formats. These conditions with be compared with regard to knowledge gains in PCT-A, recall of PCT-A components, and self-efficacy in conducting this treatment with adolescents diagnosed with panic disorder, in addition to learner implementation of PCT-A and performance-based assessment of skill in utilizing PCT-A. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Although empirically-based treatments do exist for children and adolescents diagnosed with panic disorder, only a relatively small percentage of this population will receive such treatments. Panic Control Treatment for Adolescents (PCT-A) is one efficacious approach for the treatment of panic in adolescents. The lack of effective treatment availability is compounded by inherent difficulties in providing clinicians with training in treatments like PCT-A, beyond written text manuals or infrequent workshops. The intent of this project is to further develop and evaluate a comprehensive and interactive online training in PCT-A, in order to improve clinical outcomes for adolescents suffering from panic disorder.