Computer-Based Training in Behavioral Activation Treatment for Depressed Adults

Period of Performance: 09/10/2007 - 06/13/2008


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 Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant application to support the development of an innovative, online training program to aid in the dissemination of Behavioral Activation, a therapy for depression (BA). The current application represents a cooperative partnership between the PI, who with colleagues, developed and evaluated the efficacy of BA, and the small business, Behavioral Tech Research, Inc., a company dedicated to disseminating effective psychosocial treatments. BA is an evidence-based practice for major depressive disorder, which may have particular transportability advantages. The proposed online training program will substantially aid in the vital training of both community clinicians and clinical students the utilization of this evidence-based practice. Specifically, the initial aims of this Phase I proposal are to: 1) Determine content for the prototype utilizing an advisory board of BA experts; 2) Create the prototype using an iterative process of development and evaluation; and, 3) Conduct a feasibility pilot study (n=30) using a randomized controlled trial to evaluate gains in knowledge of BA, recall of BA components, and self-efficacy in conducting the initial two sessions with patients with major depression. In the event of a successful Phase I test of feasibility, we will substantially expand the multimedia program and its evaluation in Phase II. Major depression is a pervasive and debilitating disorder, for which the majority of individuals receive no or inadequate treatment, despite the fact that efficacious treatments exist. Increasing the availability of such treatments requires widely available and effective training materials that will facilitate the utilization of such approaches by practicing clinicians. Behavioral activation (BA) is an evidence-based practice for depression that may have important transportability advantages; this project aims to develop innovative interactive online training in BA, in order to increase dissemination of evidence-based practices and improve clinical outcomes for adults suffering from depression.