For Immediate Release.
New Collaboration and Ongoing Study Uses Resiliency Technologies’ Sharpen Athlete™ and Adaptive Testing Technologies’ CAT-MH® For Assessment and Triage of Student Athletes at University of West Georgia
Carrollton, GA – August 30, 2023 – This month, the University of West Georgia (UWG), Adaptive Testing Technologies, Inc. (ATT) and Resiliency Technologies, Inc. (RT) collaborated to launch a new screening and resiliency intervention tailored for college athletes to UWG’s athletic program. The new product is called PerformeaX™ and it is paired with the Sharpen Athlete™ program.
To meet the growing need to identify and refer college students who may be struggling from mental disorders, the leadership of UWG, ATT and RT have implemented a solution that combines the powerful Computerized Adaptive Testing - Mental Health (CAT-MH®) screening and Sharpen Athlete™ peer-focused, mental health literacy interventions to college athletes. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recommends that mental health screening questionnaires be considered part of the pre-participation exam (ICD, 2016), and based on those recommendations, the research team collaborated to screen athletes using the CAT-MH® with immediate access to Sharpen Athlete™ content curated specifically for athletes and coaches.
In the first cohort, 400+ UWG college student athletes were successfully screened and immediately triaged by licensed mental health counselors and the University’s Center for Integrative Wellness health coaching staff. After the initial screenings, students received access to Sharpen Athlete™ peer-focused resiliency training content through text message and email.
About the UWG College Student Athlete study:
Assessed for depression, anxiety, mania/hypomania, psychosis, PTSD, substance use disorder, ADHD, social determinants of health (SDoH), and suicidality.
15.7% of student athletes were identified as high-risk in one or more domains and are receiving services.
Average completion time of 7.4 minutes.
Approximate time savings of 88% versus 1+ hour-long clinical interviews with a licensed clinician.
The study is expected to be completed in Fall 2024.
UWG Chief Wellness Officer, Bridgette Stewart outlined that this work is timely and important, stating that:
“Elite athletes are all affected by changing psychopathology. Those with higher level disorders can be more quickly identified, diagnosed, and treated but those with sub-clinical thresholds often fall through the cracks. Having accurate and precise measurement with limited burden and the ability to pair the results with individualized interventions allows athletes to normalize talking about mental health and develop physical, social, and emotional resilience. At the population level, schools willing to provide this type of individualized care are showing the commitment to student mental well-being and benefit from improved retention and performance of their student athletes.”
The interdisciplinary research team includes Dr. Ashlee Davis (PI); Dr. Duke Biber; Austin Haedicke, MA, LPC; Bridgette Stewart, MEd, NBC-HWC, CWP; Dr. Jennifer Jordan; Dr. Benedict Ezeoke; Jason Carmichael, MPE; David Haase, MS; Dr. Robert Gibbons; Robyn Hussa Farrell, MFA, E-RYT; and Tim Farrell.
About University of West Georgia
University of West Georgia is one of the most dynamic universities in the nation, recognized among the nation's top colleges and universities in 2023 by U.S. News & World Report. The West Georgia Wolves (UWG Wolves) are the athletic teams that represent the University of West Georgia, located in Carrollton, Georgia, in NCAA Division II intercollegiate sports. Since 1983, the Wolves have competed as members of the Gulf South Conference for all 13 varsity sports. Within UWG is the Center for Integrative Wellness (CIW), led by Chief Wellness Officer, Bridgette Stewart. CIW cultivates a collaborative environment focused on holistic health and wellness services, resources, education, and research for students, employees, and the West Georgia community. The CIW embeds holistic health and wellness into all aspects of campus culture. We support students and employees by providing a central hub of programs, services, and resources to encourage and inform positive behavior change. For a list of services, please visit: https://www.westga.edu/wellness/ciw/programs.php
About Sharpen® and Sharpen Athlete™
Sharpen Athlete™ is the performance use case of Sharpen® which includes an integration with the CAT-MH®. Resiliency Technologies (RT) has developed the Sharpen® technology service which integrates an evidence-based prevention toolkit with mental health literacy (MHL), psychoeducation and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for educators, students and parents to increase awareness, early identification and access to mental health services.
Although there have been many mental health literacy and prevention programs created, few have been designed by conducting deep listening sessions with athletes and coaches in order to determine the best implementation strategies that integrate the voices of diverse youth and their families. Sharpen Athlete was designed working alongside multiple community partners and their voices have been incorporated into the video-based mental health literacy program.
The Sharpen® service provides a library of evidence-based, age-appropriate and culturally relevant psychoeducational modules that is created using suicide prevention and trauma-informed best practices. Our modular content library is built using our award-winning peer-to-peer, documentary film style that follows a rigorous process for developing each module through a balance of expert and peer input. Sharpen® has shown to build mental health literacy (Biber, 2023), decrease shame and stigma, improve engagement with mental health education and treatment services (Beretta et al, 2023), and improve athlete resilience (Patrizi et al, 2019).
The Sharpen® system is used by health systems, K12 schools, universities, and as gold-standard professional training tools for licensed clinicians and health providers.
About Adaptive Testing Technologies, PerformeaX™, and the CAT-MH®
Adaptive Testing Technologies (ATT) is the leader in the design, testing, and implementation of large-scale, cloud-based mental health assessment tools based on Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) and Computerized Adaptive Diagnostic (CAD) technologies. The CAT-MH® and K-CAT® (for children and youth ages 7-17) are utilized by health professionals to assess a variety of mental health conditions – including depression, anxiety, mania, psychosis, PTSD, substance use disorder, suicide risk, ADHD, and assess Social Determinants of Health. The tools provide levels of precision and accuracy that is far beyond what can be achieved using traditional fixed-length mental health assessment scales and can be administered anywhere, at any frequency, in or out of a clinic, doctor’s office, or other formal setting, to any sized population.
PerformeaX™ is the performance use-case for the CAT-MH®. At its core, it is the unparalleled power, precision, and accuracy of the CAT-MH®, the ability for repeat administration without response bias, and the recognition that supporting the mental health of athletes can lead to better performance.
These tools are the first and only validated, comprehensive, multidimensional item-response-theory-based adaptive screening and measurement systems in the world. Using these tools to measure mental and behavioral health in the student athlete population not only allows for the identification of severe disorders among a population but also for the identification of subclinical levels of severity.
ATT's tools are applicable to an array of organizations, institutions, programs, some of which include psychiatric and primary care clinics, telemedicine, student health clinics, substance use disorder programs, federal and state mental health programs. More information can be found at www.adaptivetestingtechnologies.com.
Resiliency Technologies: Tim Farrell, Chief Operating Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
Adaptive Testing Technologies: Hannah Wulczyn, Project Director email@example.com
University of West Georgia: Colton Campbell, Executive Director of Communications firstname.lastname@example.org