This study aimed to determine the feasibility of translating cognitive behavioral therapy for anxious youth to rural-community settings via tele-psychiatry training. A 20-week group-supervision training program was delivered to ten different groups from different agencies within Northern Ontario. Each group consisted of four to nine clinicians with child therapy background not specific to CBT (n = 78, 51% social workers, 49% other mental health disciplines). Clinicians were each required to treat an anxious youth under supervision. Changes in clinician knowledge and youth internalizing symptoms were measured. Northern Ontario clinicians showed significant gains on a child CBT-related knowledge test (t (1, 52) = -4.6, p < .001). Although youth treated by these clinicians showed a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms, possible response bias and the lack of a comparison group mandate further studies before generalizing our findings. Nevertheless, training local therapists in anxiety-focused CBT for children via a group supervision based tele-psychiatry model appears to be a feasible and well-received approach to knowledge translation to rural settings.
Keywords: Anxiety disorders; Cognitive behavioral therapy; Group-supervision; Knowledge translation; Telepsychiatry.