Online Training in the Principles and Procedures of Exposure Therapies

Period of Performance: 05/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Behavioral Tech Research, Inc.
Seattle, WA 98105
Principal Investigator
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 program to aid in the dissemination of exposure therapies (ETs) for anxiety disorders. ETs have consistently and robustly been found effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders. However, these evidence-based treatments are rarely used in real world clinical settings and this appears to be due primarily to a lack of training in general exposure principles and procedures among clinical practitioners. The primary goal of this project is to facilitate the dissemination of ETs for anxiety disorders by creating an innovative online training in general exposure principles and procedures for community treatment providers. This product is intended to serve as a foundational platform that will summarize the theoretical and procedural elements common to all ETs for anxiety disorders. Specifically, the initial aims of this Phase I proposal are to: 1) determine content for the prototype utilizing an advisory board of exposure experts; 2) create the prototype using an iterative process of development and evaluation; 3) in collaboration with consultants, create warning advisory for subjects as well as extensive list of resources for further training, consultation, and supervision in ET for subjects interested in furthering their knowledge of ET; and 4) conduct a feasibility pilot study using a randomized controlled trial (n=30) to evaluate gains in knowledge of the theory and evidence base of ETs, recall of exposure procedures, self-efficacy in implementing exposure techniques, and attitudes toward ETs. 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: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States and are associated with significant personal, social, and economic costs. The vast majority of individuals with anxiety disorders receive no or inadequate treatment and this is due, in part, to a failure to disseminate evidence-based treatments to community mental health settings. Exposure therapies are highly effective, evidence-based treatments for anxiety disorders that may be readily transportable to community clinicians. This project aims to develop an innovative online training in general exposure principles and procedures to facilitate the dissemination of exposure therapies and improve clinical outcomes for individuals suffering from anxiety disorders.