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Overcome Social Anxiety

Online program to reduce social anxiety in university students.

Fact Sheet

Program Outcomes

  • Anxiety

Program Type

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Training

Program Setting

  • Online

Continuum of Intervention

  • Indicated Prevention

Age

  • Adult
  • Early Adulthood (19-22)

Gender

  • Both

Race/Ethnicity

  • All

Endorsements

Blueprints: Promising

Program Information Contact

Fjola Helgadottir, Ph.D.
AI-Therapy
Email: fjola@ai-therapy.com
Website: ai-therapy.com

Program Developer/Owner

Frances S. Chen, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia


Brief Description of the Program

The Overcome Social Anxiety program is administered online and aims to help college students improve their social anxiety through cognitive behavioral therapy. The program targets college students showing high levels of anxiety. Participants complete the program over a period of four to six months and receive email reminders to complete the modules.

The Overcome Social Anxiety program is administered online and aims to help college students improve their social anxiety through cognitive behavioral therapy. The program targets college students showing high levels of anxiety. Participants complete the program over a period of four to six months and receive email reminders to complete the modules.

The program includes seven modules, focusing on: (1) thinking exercises, (2) challenging thinking patterns, (3) creating models to deal with social anxiety, (4) experimenting behaviorally with situations that invoke social anxiety, (5) further challenging thinking, (6) self-processing, and (7) relapse prevention. Modules are individualized for the user based upon responses to a pre-questionnaire on common social anxiety thoughts and avoidance behaviors. A post-questionnaire collects the same information allowing the user to retain his/her data from before and after the treatment. A PDF generated for the user at the end of the program contains all of the exercises and the user's individualized content.

Outcomes

McCall et al. (2018) found that at posttest, compared to control participants, intervention participants showed significantly greater reductions in:

  • Social anxiety (two of two measures)

Risk and Protective Factors

McCall et al. (2018) did not find significant effects on risk and protective factors.

Brief Evaluation Methodology

McCall et al. (2018) evaluated the program in 101 participants randomly assigned to intervention or waitlist control conditions. Participants self-reported their anxiety and quality of life at baseline and following the four-month online program.

Blueprints Certified Studies

Risk and Protective Factors

Race/Ethnicity/Gender Details

Race/Ethnicity/Gender Details
McCall et al. (2018) did not test for program differences by race or gender.

Training and Technical Assistance

The program is self-contained online and typically purchased directly by end users; thus, no training is necessary.

Benefits and Costs

Source: Washington State Institute for Public Policy
All benefit-cost ratios are the most recent estimates published by The Washington State Institute for Public Policy for Blueprint programs implemented in Washington State. These ratios are based on a) meta-analysis estimates of effect size and b) monetized benefits and calculated costs for programs as delivered in the State of Washington. Caution is recommended in applying these estimates of the benefit-cost ratio to any other state or local area. They are provided as an illustration of the benefit-cost ratio found in one specific state. When feasible, local costs and monetized benefits should be used to calculate expected local benefit-cost ratios. The formula for this calculation can be found on the WSIPP website.

Program Costs

Start-Up Costs

Initial Training and Technical Assistance

No training is necessary as the program is fully self-contained online and may be purchased directly by end users at ai-therapy.com.

Curriculum and Materials

Online program expense covered with purchase of license.

Licensing

$50-$150 per user, depending on the number of seats in the site license. Individuals may purchase the program directly, or institutions can purchase site licenses to reduce the per user expense. Each user gets access to the program for 6 months.

Other Start-Up Costs

No information is available

Intervention Implementation Costs

Ongoing Curriculum and Materials

No information is available

Staffing

No information is available

Other Implementation Costs

No information is available

Implementation Support and Fidelity Monitoring Costs

Ongoing Training and Technical Assistance

Included with license. AI-Therapy has been online since 2012 and has performed well technically since then. However, when problems arise, users send an email to support@ai-therapy.com and their issues are solved within 1-2 working days.

Fidelity Monitoring and Evaluation

Included with license. The program self-administers assessments at the beginning and at the end of the program.

Ongoing License Fees

No information is available

Other Implementation Support and Fidelity Monitoring Costs

No information is available

Other Cost Considerations

No information is available

Year One Cost Example

Individuals who are age 18 or older may purchase the program and are given access for a period of six months.

The Year One expense for a single user is $149.99.

An institution may purchase a license, where the per user expense is reduced with increasing number of seats within the license. The minimum per user expense is $50.

Funding Strategies


No information is available

Evaluation Abstract

Program Developer/Owner

Frances S. Chen, Ph.D.Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia3521-2136 West MallVancouverVancouverV6T 1Z4Canada+1 (604) 822-2549frances.chen@psych.ubc.ca

Program Outcomes

  • Anxiety

Program Specifics

Program Type

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Training

Program Setting

  • Online

Continuum of Intervention

  • Indicated Prevention

Program Goals

Online program to reduce social anxiety in university students.

Population Demographics

The program targets college students with high levels of social anxiety.

Target Population

Age

  • Adult
  • Early Adulthood (19-22)

Gender

  • Both

Race/Ethnicity

  • All

Race/Ethnicity/Gender Details

McCall et al. (2018) did not test for program differences by race or gender.

Other Risk and Protective Factors

Quality of life

Risk/Protective Factor Domain

  • Individual

Risk/Protective Factors

Risk Factors

Protective Factors


*Risk/Protective Factor was significantly impacted by the program

Brief Description of the Program

The Overcome Social Anxiety program is administered online and aims to help college students improve their social anxiety through cognitive behavioral therapy. The program targets college students showing high levels of anxiety. Participants complete the program over a period of four to six months and receive email reminders to complete the modules.

Description of the Program

The Overcome Social Anxiety program is administered online and aims to help college students improve their social anxiety through cognitive behavioral therapy. The program targets college students showing high levels of anxiety. Participants complete the program over a period of four to six months and receive email reminders to complete the modules.

The program includes seven modules, focusing on: (1) thinking exercises, (2) challenging thinking patterns, (3) creating models to deal with social anxiety, (4) experimenting behaviorally with situations that invoke social anxiety, (5) further challenging thinking, (6) self-processing, and (7) relapse prevention. Modules are individualized for the user based upon responses to a pre-questionnaire on common social anxiety thoughts and avoidance behaviors. A post-questionnaire collects the same information allowing the user to retain his/her data from before and after the treatment. A PDF generated for the user at the end of the program contains all of the exercises and the user's individualized content.

Theoretical Rationale

The program is based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Brief Evaluation Methodology

McCall et al. (2018) evaluated the program in 101 participants randomly assigned to intervention or waitlist control conditions. Participants self-reported their anxiety and quality of life at baseline and following the four-month online program.

Outcomes (Brief, over all studies)

McCall et al. (2018) found that intervention participants showed significantly greater reductions in social anxiety at posttest relative to participants in the control condition.

Outcomes

McCall et al. (2018) found that at posttest, compared to control participants, intervention participants showed significantly greater reductions in:

  • Social anxiety (two of two measures)

Risk and Protective Factors

McCall et al. (2018) did not find significant effects on risk and protective factors.

Mediating Effects

McCall et al. (2018) did not test mediation.

Effect Size

McCall et al. (2018) report two significant effect sizes of d = 0.72 and d = 0.82 for the two measures of social anxiety.

Generalizability

McCall et al. (2018) can be generalized to university students with high levels of social anxiety.

A second study by McCall et al. (2019) examined the program's use in a more general population (mean age 35); however, this population falls outside of the scope of Blueprints and thus the study has not been reviewed by Blueprints.

McCall, H. C., Helgadottir, F. D., Menzies, R. G., Hadjistavropoulos, H. D., & Chen, F. S. (2019). An Evaluation of Community Outcomes for a Web-Based Social Anxiety Intervention. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(1), e11566. doi:10.2196/11566

Potential Limitations

McCall et al. (2018):

  • Tests for baseline equivalence are incomplete (no tests for demographics)
  • Tests for differential attrition are incomplete (no tests for differences in rates between conditions)
  • High attrition from baseline to posttest

Notes

Tests for differential attrition were incomplete in the published article for Study 1 (McCall et al., 2018) but later provided by the study authors upon request by Blueprints.

Endorsements

Blueprints: Promising

Program Information Contact

Fjola Helgadottir, Ph.D.
AI-Therapy
Email: fjola@ai-therapy.com
Website: ai-therapy.com