Category: Dissemination / Implementation

Symposium

Feasibility and Acceptability of a Toolkit to Facilitate Clinician Use of Exposure Therapy

Saturday, November 18
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom E & F, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Implementation | Child Anxiety | Exposure
Presentation Type: Symposium

Exposure therapy is a key element of cognitive-behavioral therapy for youth with anxiety. However, few clinicians outside of specialty anxiety clinics routinely use exposures with anxious youth and there are multiple unique barriers to the use of exposure in routine care. While effectively implementing exposure therapy will likely require multiple implementation strategies beyond traditional implementation supports (e.g., workshops, manuals; Beidas & Kendall., 2010) across multiple system levels, clinician factors have been cited as a key driver of exposure adoption (Harned, Dimeff, Woodcock, & Contreras, 2013). Considered alongside the high level of clinician barriers to the use of exposure cited in the literature (e.g., Chu et al., 2015), development of a clinician support tool may be an ideal first step toward addressing the complex challenge of exposure implementation.


 An exposure support toolkit (Resource for Exposures for Anxiety Disordered Youth; READY) was developed through an extensive literature review of exposure science and cited barriers to exposure therapy, with input from multiple experts in pediatric anxiety (n = 10). Acceptability and feasibility data was gathered via survey from 70 community clinicians (M age = 37.3, 74.3% female, 70% Caucasian) attending a training on exposure therapy for youth. Qualitative interview data was collected from a subset of participants (N = 4, M age = 37.8, 100% female, 100% Caucasian) who used the toolkit with youth on their caseload for approximately one month. Survey data suggested that READY was viewed highly favorably, with 93-97% of the sample providing positive ratings across toolkit components. Qualitative interviews indicated that READY was viewed as a feasible therapeutic tool that positively impacted clinician motivation to use exposure. Primary challenges related to exposure use more generally, and included client and service setting barriers. Findings suggested initial toolkit acceptability and feasibility. Future work to refine READY and test its efficacy as an implementation strategy to increase clinician use of exposure therapy is warranted.

Emily M. Becker-Haimes

Postdoctoral researcher
University of Pennsylvania

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