Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS)
The Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program is a school-based group and individual intervention designed to reduce symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and behavioral problems; improve peer and parent support; and enhance coping skills among students exposed to traumatic life events, such as community and school violence, physical abuse, domestic violence, accidents, and natural disasters. CBITS has been tested primarily with children in grades 3 through 8, as in the three studies reviewed in this summary. It also has been implemented with high school students. Students who have participated in CBITS evaluations have been individually screened for trauma and/or were exposed to a catastrophic weather event such as Hurricane Katrina.
CBITS relies on cognitive and behavioral theories of adjustment to traumatic events and uses cognitive-behavioral techniques such as psychoeducation, relaxation, social problem solving, cognitive restructuring, imaginal exposure, exposure to trauma reminders, and development of a trauma narrative. The program includes 10 group sessions and 1-3 individual sessions for students, 2 parent psychoeducational sessions, and a teacher educational session. It is designed for delivery in the school setting by mental health professionals working in close collaboration with school personnel.
|Areas of Interest||Mental health promotion|
1: PTSD symptoms
2: Depression symptoms
3: Psychosocial dysfunction
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
|NIH Funding/CER Studies||
Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: Yes
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: Yes
|Adaptations||CBITS has been adapted for use with traumatized Latino immigrant children, and worksheets and parent handouts have been translated into Spanish. The program also has been adapted for use in American Indian reservation schools to reflect the traditional culture and wellness practices of the participating tribes. In addition, program worksheets have been adapted for use among low-literacy populations and youth in foster care.|
|Adverse Effects||No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.|
|IOM Prevention Categories||
Quality of Research
Readiness for Dissemination
The cost information below was provided by the developer. Although this cost information may have been updated by the developer since the time of review, it may not reflect the current costs or availability of items (including newly developed or discontinued items). The implementation point of contact can provide current information and discuss implementation requirements.
The cost of implementation can be calculated based on the salary of a full-time, school-based mental health professional who is devoted to delivering CBITS. One professional can screen students in the general school population and select students with elevated symptoms, delivering up to 30 CBITS groups per academic year (6-8 students per group), for a total of about 210 students. Assuming an approximate staffing cost of $90,000 per year for a full-time social worker, the estimated cost per participant is $430.