Wellness and resilience for college and beyond: Protocol for a quasi-experimental pilot study investigating a dialectical behaviour therapy skill-infused college course

Carla D. Chugani*, Barbara Fuhrman, Kaleab Z. Abebe, Janine Talis, Elizabeth Miller, Robert W.S. Coulter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction College students' mental health problems and suicidal behaviour are serious, persistent and prevalent public health issues. With the need for mental health support greatly exceeding the availability of on-campus treatment, a recent trend on college campuses is to offer courses designed to teach students strategies for developing mental health or resilience. While these courses are exceptionally popular among students, a paucity of research investigates the health outcomes associated with participation. The purpose of this study is to investigate the acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a college course grounded in skills from dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) titled, € Wellness and Resilience for College and Beyond'. Methods and analysis During the spring and fall 2020 semesters, the course will be offered on five campuses in Southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The course consists of 15 weekly 2.5-hour lessons, weekly homework assignments and a final examination with content drawn from DBT, acceptance and commitment therapy and positive psychology. Undergraduate students aged 18-24 will self-select into the course and control subjects receiving € university as usual' will be recruited to serve as a comparison group. Students who receive the course will complete measures of course acceptability, appropriateness and feasibility. All study participants will complete measures of adaptive coping skills use, emotion dysregulation and suicidality. Ethics and dissemination All of the study procedures were approved as an exempt protocol for evaluation of educational curricula by the University of Pittsburgh Human Research Protections Office (HRPO); the study was approved as a research study by the institutional review board (IRB) of the fifth study site. The University of Pittsburgh HRPO served as the IRB of record for all except one study site, which required standard IRB review. Data from this study will be disseminated via conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and via our online stakeholder learning collaborative. Trial registration number NCT04338256.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere036833
JournalBMJ Open
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • education & training (see medical education & training)
  • mental health
  • public health

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