BRAVE-ONLINE: Successes and challenges associated with wide scale dissemination of an internet-based CBT program for youth anxiety disorders

Presentation First Author: 
Sonja March

Introduction: BRAVE-ONLINE has an established evidence base in the treatment of child and adolescent anxiety. It consists of programs for pre-schoolers, children aged 8-12 years, teenagers aged 13-17 years, and for parents of pre-schoolers, children and teenagers. The challenge moving forward is to find acceptable methods for disseminating the program to young people in need. Online interventions have the potential to reduce the impact of anxiety by reaching a greater proportion of youth than would be possible through face-to-face approaches.

Objectives: The BRAVE Team have partnered with a beyondblue, a national, independent, not-for-profit initiative whose focus is to raise awareness of anxiety and depression in Australia. The aim of this partnership is to disseminate BRAVE Self-Help, a 10-session Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy program, to Australian children, adolescents, and their parents. The aim of this paper is describe the two phases of the project, the results to date, and what we have learned along the way.

Methods: This project consists of two phases, establishment and dissemination. Phase 1 involves the establishment of a self-help therapy website, registration and assessment procedures. Phase 2 involves the distribution and promotion of the website to young people and their parents, as well as evaluation of site usage and effectiveness in reducing symptoms of anxiety.

Results: Phase 1 has now been completed and the BRAVE Self-Help website was launched in May, 2014. Phase 2 is currently underway. This paper will provide an overview of the establishment phase, as well as promotion and distribution strategies utilised in Phase 2. Results obtained from children, adolescents and parents accessing the website will be presented, including usage statistics, satisfaction reports and anxiety symptom outcome measures throughout the program.

Conclusion: BRAVE-ONLINE has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of youth anxiety disorders. This project represents an attempt to establish and disseminate a self-help version of the program made accessible to all Australian young people and their parents. This paper will conclude with a discussion of the challenges faced in widespread implementation of this program.

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Date of Presentation: 
10th Oct 2015
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