DBT Skills Training Central

Period of Performance: 09/01/2009 - 12/30/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This is a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant application to support the development of an innovative, online training aid for Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills providers treating borderline personality disorder and substance dependence (BPD-SUD) individuals. The primary purpose of the eventual product, DBT Skills Central, is to help DBT skills trainers access, organize, customize, track and manage DBT skills content and materials (e.g., teaching illustrations, examples, client handouts, adherence checklists, easy-to-read outlines, handouts, homework) commonly required when teaching DBT skills. DBT Skills Central will provide users with state-of-the art teaching examples, illustrations, client exercises, and class outlines at their finger tips. Users will be easily able to customize their search to "fit" their specific needs by specifying the demographics of clients in their skills training group (e.g., age, sex, race/ethnicity), the treatment setting (e.g., outpatient, inpatient, residential/milieu), the group members'primary problems (e.g., suicidal behaviors and non-suicidal self-injury, substance abuse, anger dyscontrol, etc.) as well as secondary problems (e.g., depression, anger, joblessness, hopeless thoughts, etc.), and how advanced the DBT skills is (e.g., beginning, intermediate, advanced). A secondary function of DBT Skills Central will be to provide quick, easy-to-find modeling of DBT Skills, including in-session practice exercises, for a wide variety of clients. The initial aims of this Phase I proposal are to: 1) Determine content for the prototype utilizing target end-users and DBT skills expert advisors;2) Create the prototype using an iterative process of development and evaluation in collaboration with design and technology experts;3) Conduct a randomized controlled feasibility pilot study to evaluate knowledge, self-efficacy, and overall satisfaction with the product compared to standard text-based materials. In the event of a successful Phase I test of feasibility, we will substantially expand the multimedia program and its evaluation in Phase II. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an efficacious and effective treatment for Borderline Personality Disorders with Substance Use Disorders (BPD-SUD) individuals. Skills Training is an important component of DBT which requires extensive preparation from the provider. We propose to develop and test an innovative, interactive Internet tool for DBT treatment providers to access, organize, customize, track, and manage DBT skills content and materials (e.g., teaching illustrations, examples, client handouts, adherence checklists, easy-to-read outlines, handouts, homework). By providing treatment providers with tools to facilitate their adherent application of DBT skills to their BPD and SUD patients, our intent is to streamline training in an essential behavioral procedure that will further facilitate the successful dissemination of DBT.