DBT Skills Computer Training for BPD Substance Abuse

Period of Performance: 09/30/2002 - 03/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Substance use disorders (SUD) co-occurring with borderline personality disorder (BPD) pose serious and complex public health problems. Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Substance Abusers (DBT) is an efficacious psychosocial treatment for drug dependent individuals with BPD. Dissemination of evidence-based therapies is remains a high priority at NIDA. We propose to develop and evaluate an innovative computer-based modular training (CBMT) program for use by drug treatment providers to learn DBT. This CBMT will focus exclusively on teaching DBT skills. The Phase I prototype will be limited to teaching a set of "crisis survival" skills from Linehan's (1993) Skills Training for Borderline Personality Disorder. The DBT crisis survival CBMT developed in Phase I will include exploration and simulation environments to facilitate knowledge transfer. An iterative process of prototype development will be used where end-user feedback will drive prototype modifications to ensure its usability and acceptability to providers. An advisory board of DBT and behavior therapy experts will also be used to ensure that the prototype is scientifically sound and fidelity to the treatment manual is retained. Feedback will be obtained using focus groups and individual interviews with practitioners, and from the advisory board. Once prototype usability and acceptability is achieved, we will then conduct a randomized controlled trial (N=40) to evaluate gains in DBT skills knowledge, application and recollection of skills, and self-efficacy in applying DBT crisis survival skills.