Becker-Haimes EM, Wislocki K, Schriger SH, Kratz HE, Sanchez AL, Clapp D, Frank HE. Preliminary Implementation Outcomes of a Free Online Toolkit to Support Exposure Therapy Implementation for Youth. Child Youth Care Forum (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-023-09732-1
Exposure therapy is a cognitive-behavioral treatment tool for youth anxiety but is highly underutilized in routine clinical care. This study assessed usage and clinician perspectives of an online toolkit that supports the use of exposure therapy with anxious youth, called the Resource for Exposure for Anxiety Disordered Youth (READY). READY is hosted on a freely available website and has been disseminated to clinicians. Researchers extracted web analytics from the READY platform and conducted brief, anonymous electronic surveys of site users to assess READY adoption, utility, and the association with exposure therapy use. In its first three years, READY had 13,543 page views across 1731 unique users. READY clinician users (N=49, mean age=34 years, 82.9% female, 71% White) completed the survey. Survey data suggested variability in usage and perceived utility across toolkit components. READY was perceived positively overall by users and was most commonly used to prepare for exposure therapy sessions by reviewing tips or generating exposure ideas. Open-ended responses about perceived challenges in exposure delivery with youth found common barriers to be engagement by patients, difficulties with the family system, and difficulties with generating ideas for exposure practices. Although the study engaged only a small number of READY users (14%) to complete the survey, findings suggest the READY toolkit, a free online implementation resource, could be a promising tool to support clinicians delivering exposure therapy and may augment traditional training and consultation.