Technology to Facilitate Treatment for Childhood Anxiety Disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Proof of Concept

Stephen P.H. Whiteside, Bridget K. Biggs, Deanna R. Hofschulte, Sara J. Seifert, Kevin M. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report two studies examining family interest in, and the feasibility of, technology-based treatment of childhood anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In the first study, 33 parents of children (51.5% boys; age 5–18 years) seen for anxiety or OCD completed a survey regarding access to technology, experience with the mental health system, and interest in technology-based tools. The majority of parents (76%) expressed high interest in electronic treatment options and preferred to use technology to facilitate, rather than replace, face-to-face treatment. In the second study, 10 youth (40% boys; age 6–17 years) and a parent completed an interactive online prototype to deliver psychoeducation for childhood anxiety disorders and OCD. User data supported the ability of the application to cover the breadth of symptom presentations, with most families able to identify multiple feared stimuli as well as related beliefs, avoidance behaviors, and potential exposures exercises. Only two entries, one fear stimuli and one exposure item, were made via free text. In addition, user experience was positive, with 80% of respondents rating the prototype highly. Overall, the results of both studies support and inform further development of electronic treatment tools for children with anxiety and OCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-273
Number of pages11
JournalEvidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 3 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Technology to Facilitate Treatment for Childhood Anxiety Disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Proof of Concept'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this