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Need

Evidence-based behavioral health strategies for the general population.

Direct-to-consumer resources in particular (e.g., self-help books, and now an in ux of app and web resources) present a confusing array of therapeutic concepts, including those lacking scienti c basis. Families concerned by early signs of anxiety and emotion management struggles are likely to seek this market in hopes of independently improving coping with both everyday concerns and heightened stressors. Viable eHealth applications able to meet such early intervenion and preventative goals suitable for mainstream promotion are currently lacking.


Solution

Anchors AwayTM is an eHealth application to assist families in bridging an early intervention gap to address common fears and anxieties and emotion resiliency building.

Grounded in well-established EBT concepts, Anchors AwayTM uses interactive, personalized programing to teach parents and children proactive strategies through an engaging game format and guides the family in adopting and practicing healthy skills. Smartphone and tablet technology allows portability for taking on challenges and meeting goals in the real world.


Who

Partnering together to bring Anchors AwayTM to life.

Virtually Better, Inc. (VBI) a behavioral health focused technology company, and the Kansas City Center for Anxiety Treatment, P.A. (KCCAT), a clinical service, research, and training specialty setting with a mission of promoting EBTs across the lifespan.


Research

Anchors AwayTM is supported by NIMH funding 2R44MH098470 expanded from an earlier Phase I project (R43MH098470).

A randomized control trial will compare effectiveness of the app, with and without inclusion of a parent-enriched component, to families provided a self-help book and a waitlist control. Drs. Lisa Hale and Katie Kriegshauser at KCCAT lead a team of researchers developing concepts and clinical content for the program, and are conducting the RCT. Co-PI Dr. Margo Adams-Larsen leads the broadly accomplished creative technology team at VBI.