Converting from a web-based teaching tool to a teaching modality for social anxiety

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Simister, Heather Dawn
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A Web-based teaching tool called WebCAPSI was modified and tested as an online treatment for social anxiety. Two-Hundred and Seventy-Seven Introductory Psychology students at the University of Manitoba participated in the study. Twenty-eight participants were excluded from the study, resulting in 121 participants in the control group and 128 in the treatment group used for the final analysis. All participants received written materials on treatment for social phobia via WebCAPSI; however, the material was broken down into discrete units with assigned study questions for participants in the treatment condition. Participants in the treatment condition answered specific questions within the WebCAPSI program whereas participants in the control condition answered questions unrelated to the content of the materials. Further, participants in the treatment condition were given the opportunity to serve as peer reviewers. Results of this study indicated significant differences in post-treatment anxiety scores on two anxiety measures between groups, higher treatment expectancy scores in the treatment group, and higher baseline anxiety scores predicting greater reduction in anxiety post-treatment. Peer review did not appear to have a significant effect on post-treatment anxiety scores. These results indicate that the WebCAPSI program may be a useful tool to present information on the treatment of social anxiety.
Social Anxiety, online treatment, peer interaction