Last updated on January 2019

A Hybrid Effectiveness-Implementation Trial of Group CBT in Urban Schools


Brief description of study

Unresolved psychological problems, such as anxiety, affect a significant number of our students and interfere with their ability to attend, actively participate, and prosper in school. This project will expand the capacity of selected mental health agencies to provide services in the participating schools through school therapeutic services (STS). The project will provide enhanced training in evidence-based behavioral health interventions to school-based mental health providers. The services will be implemented by STS Bachelor's or Master's level therapists supervised by their mental health agency supervisors (Internal Support), who are in turn supported by the research team (Train-the-Trainer) or external consultants (Train the Trainer+).

Detailed Study Description

Background/Purpose: This project will expand the capacity of selected mental health agencies to provide services in the participating schools through school therapeutic services (STS). The project will provide enhanced training in evidence-based behavioral health interventions to school-based mental health providers. The services will be implemented by STS Master's level therapists supervised by their mental health agency supervisors (Internal Support), who are in turn supported by the research team (TT) or external consultants (TT+).

Population: 18 schools in Philadelphia will be chosen for participation. Students who present excessive anxiety in grades 4-8 would be potentially eligible to participate in the interventions offered by the agencies' therapists in their school.

Intervention: This study is designed to test: a) the effectiveness of an adapted version of a group cognitive behavioral therapy program (aFRIENDS) compared to the original version of this program (FRIENDS), and b) the effectiveness of two implementation support strategies for aFRIENDS: Train-the-Trainer and Train-the-Trainer Plus. aFRIENDS is a shorter, more culturally sensitive, focused, and feasible CBT for anxiety in children than FRIENDS and addresses one of the major barriers to implementation (intervention-context fit).

Design: Therapists and supervisors will be randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a) FRIENDS with Train-the-Trainer implementation strategy (i.e., Masters-level supervisors receive training by experts on conducting supervision); b) aFRIENDS with Train-the-Trainer strategy; c) aFRIENDS using the Train-the-Trainer Plus strategy (i.e., supervisors receive training and consultation by experts on conducting supervision).

Analyses: Effectiveness will be measured by comparing A to B; Implementation will be measured by comparing B to C. Agency therapists will conduct all treatment groups in the schools.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02651402

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Recruitment Status: Open


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