Development and preliminary evaluation of a self-guided, internet-based tool for coping with stress and trauma: Life Improvement for Teens (LIFT)

Psychol Serv. 2019 Feb;16(1):85-94. doi: 10.1037/ser0000277. Epub 2018 Nov 15.


Implementation issues often interfere with delivery of evidence-based interventions for students exposed to trauma. To improve uptake of evidence-based techniques for such students, a partnership of interventionist scientists, research and development experts, and students created a self-paced, confidential, online curriculum. This article describes the program and results of an open trial in 5 schools that serve primarily ethnic minority youth in urban settings. Fifty-one middle and high school students completed surveys before and after the program, as well as within the program, to assess emotional and behavioral symptoms (depressive, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] symptoms and behavior) and purported mechanisms of action (coping, cognitions, emotional self-efficacy). Results indicated the program was feasible and acceptable, with moderate satisfaction. Despite low power in this study, we observed changes in several hypothesized mechanisms of action. In addition, we observed promising improvements in PTSD symptoms, emotional problems, and total behavioral difficulties. These findings offer the promise of using a self-help web-based tool to augment and enhance usual school support services. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Behavioral Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Behavioral Symptoms / therapy*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / therapy
  • Early Medical Intervention / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Program Development*
  • Psychological Trauma / diagnosis
  • Psychological Trauma / therapy*
  • Schools
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*