A Brief Online Implicit Bias Intervention for School Mental Health Clinicians

Freda F. Liu, Jessica Coifman, Erin McRee, Jeff Stone, Amy Law, Larissa Gaias, Rosemary Reyes, Calvin K. Lai, Irene V. Blair, Chia Li Yu, Heather Cook, Aaron R. Lyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Clinician bias has been identified as a potential contributor to persistent healthcare disparities across many medical specialties and service settings. Few studies have examined strategies to reduce clinician bias, especially in mental healthcare, despite decades of research evidencing service and outcome disparities in adult and pediatric populations. This manuscript describes an intervention development study and a pilot feasibility trial of the Virtual Implicit Bias Reduction and Neutralization Training (VIBRANT) for mental health clinicians in schools—where most youth in the U.S. access mental healthcare. Clinicians (N = 12) in the feasibility study—a non-randomized open trial—rated VIBRANT as highly usable, appropriate, acceptable, and feasible for their school-based practice. Preliminarily, clinicians appeared to demonstrate improvements in implicit bias knowledge, use of bias-management strategies, and implicit biases (as measured by the Implicit Association Test [IAT]) post-training. Moreover, putative mediators (e.g., clinicians’ VIBRANT strategies use, IAT D scores) and outcome variables (e.g., clinician-rated quality of rapport) generally demonstrated correlations in the expected directions. These pilot results suggest that brief and highly scalable online interventions such as VIBRANT are feasible and promising for addressing implicit bias among healthcare providers (e.g., mental health clinicians) and can have potential downstream impacts on minoritized youth’s care experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number679
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Human-centered design
  • Implicit Association Test (IAT)
  • Implicit bias
  • Mental healthcare professionals
  • Online training
  • School mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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