Computer-Based Training in Panic Control Treatment for Adolescents

Period of Performance: 02/01/2007 - 01/31/2008


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 Innovation Research (SBIR; R43/44) grant application to NIMH to support the development 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 initial aims of this Phase I proposal are to: 1) Determine content for the prototype utilizing an advisory board of PCT and PCT-A experts; 2) Create the prototype using an iterative process of development and evaluation; and, 3) Conduct a feasibility pilot study using an RCT design to evaluate knowledge gains in PCT-A, recall of PCT-A components, and self-efficacy in conducting the initial two sessions with adolescents diagnosed with panic disorder. In the event of a successful Phase I test of feasibility, we will substantially expand the multimedia program and its evaluation in Phase II. 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 develop a uniquely comprehensive and interactive online training in PCT-A, in order to improve clinical outcomes for adolescents suffering from panic disorder.