Internet-based Coping Skills Workbook for PTSD

Period of Performance: 09/02/2005 - 08/31/2006


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Talaria, Inc.
Seattle, WA 98122
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Exposure to trauma is common in the US. A significant proportion of these exposures leads to serious impairment in functioning, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although there are empirically-supported treatments (EST's) for PTSD, many individuals do not get the treatment they need. This grant proposes to use the Internet to deliver a coping skills workbook for PTSD patients as a supplement to face-to-face treatment (Strategic Personal Resources for Overcoming and Understanding Trauma: SPROUT). Technology enables this workbook to be highly interactive with a multimedia presentation format (e.g., audio, animation, and interactive exercises) and customized feedback. SPROUT will teach coping skills gathered from EST's and will include training in symptom identification, relaxation skills, mindfulness, affect identification and regulation, and cognitive restructuring. Each module will include psychoeducation, on-line exercises, self-monitoring assignments, and individualized feedback. An accompanying clinician website will consist of individualized reports of each patient's progress with suggestions about how to facilitate the strengthening and generalization of the skills. In Phase I, two pilot modules were completed (Introduction to PTSD and Basic Relaxation Skills) as well as the content for a third module (Advanced Relaxation). A successful feasibility study was conducted wherein the two pilot modules were used and evaluated by 30 PTSD patients. These participants gave the modules very high ratings. Phase E will complete the ten workbook modules as well as patient and companion clinician websites (including discussion board options for patients). A randomized clinical trial of 128 PTSD patients will be conducted on the completed product using six private practice clinicians as research therapists. SPROUT is expected to reduce PTSD symptoms, increase symptom management self-efficacy, and increase patient satisfaction.