Category: Technology

Symposium

A Tablet-Based Application to Improve Provider Fidelity and Child Engagement in Trauma-Focused CBT

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom E & F, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Trauma | Evidence-Based Practice | Technology / Mobile Health
Presentation Type: Symposium

Mental health systems need scalable solutions that can help to close the efficacy-effectiveness gap and improve mental health outcomes in community mental health agencies. Two major challenges to delivery of high-quality care are providers’ fidelity to evidence-based treatment models and children and caregiver’s engagement in the treatment process. We developed and conducted a pilot evaluation of a novel, tablet-based solution to improve the delivery of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).


We conducted a randomized controlled feasibility trial to examine the feasibility of implementing tablet-based application for TF-CBT with a sample of 13 providers and 27 families recruited from four community mental health agencies. Provider fidelity and child engagement in treatment were measured observationally via audio-recording of sessions. Qualitative data also were obtained from providers and families.


Providers actively and appropriately used the toolkit to engage children, and providers and families expressed high satisfaction with its use, demonstrating feasibility of the tablet-facilitated treatment delivery mode. Although this pilot study was underpowered to examine differences between groups in engagement, fidelity, and child outcomes, all benchmarks for feasibility were met or exceeded, and preliminary comparisons to standard TF-CBT were promising.


The current study suggests that tablet-based toolkits may be acceptable to providers and families and may be readily integrated with minimal training. Further study is needed to examine the extent to which technology-based applications may enhance the quality and outcomes of mental health treatment delivered to children and families. 

Tatiana M. Davidson

assistant professor
Medical University of South Carolina

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