for people ages 18-65 (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California
study started
estimated completion
Aoife S O'Donovan, Ph.D.



The investigators have developed a mobile app called Resolving Psychological Stress (REPS) to help alleviate symptoms of PTSD. The app will administer threat-related attention bias modification to individuals who have both a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (DSM-V) diagnosis of PTSD (and meet at least one DSM-V criteria for threat sensitivity) and a DSM-V diagnosis of Alcohol Use Disorder. The aims of the study are to explore both the feasibility and acceptability of the app with it's users, and to explore the efficacy of the app at alleviating PTSD severity.

Official Title

Resolving Psychological Stress (RePS): a Mobile Health Application for Modifying Attention Bias to Threat in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a highly disabling disorder that affects approximately 30 million people in the United States. New low-cost and accessible treatments for PTSD are desperately needed. Threat-related attention biases represent an important potential treatment target for PTSD. Such attention biases predict risk for PTSD following trauma exposure, and are thought to maintain symptoms of PTSD and other anxiety disorders. Research indicates that specific forms of computerized attention bias modification (ABM) are effective in reducing attention bias for threat as well as anxiety in patients with diverse anxiety disorders. The investigators have developed a mobile "app" called RePS (Resolving Psychological Stress) to administer threat-related ABM to patients with PTSD and Alcohol Use Disorder and have tested it in a laboratory-based pilot study of 19 people with PTSD. Preliminary data indicate that the app is highly acceptable to patients and that use of the app reduces attention bias for threat and PTSD symptom severity. The study aims are to examine the feasibility, acceptability and usability of app-based ABM; and determine the efficacy of app-based ABM in reducing attention bias and PTSD severity.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Alcohol Use Disorder Attention Bias Modification PTSD Digital Health Disease Alcoholism Stress Disorders, Traumatic Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic Alcohol Drinking Stress, Psychological Threat ABM Training Neutral Attention Training


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-65

  1. Must have current PTSD symptoms.
  2. Must drink alcohol.

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Very recent or current trauma or trauma exposure.
  2. Recent moderate or severe non-alcohol substance use disorder.
  3. Active suicidality.
  4. Lifetime history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder I.
  5. Medical conditions including seizure disorders, neurological disorders, moderate or severe head injury, systemic illness affecting nervous system function, heart defect, or medically unstable injuries.
  6. Recent or planned change in psychotherapeutic treatment for PTSD or other psychiatric symptoms


  • Aoife O'Donovan
    San Francisco California 94121 United States

Lead Scientist

  • Aoife S O'Donovan, Ph.D.
    People who experience traumatic or enduring psychological stress are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders as well as cardiovascular, autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders. Our research is focused on revealing how psychological stress drives the development of mental and physical disorders.


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Last Updated