The immediate objective of this project is to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of a
telemental health modality (video-teleconferencing) for providing an evidence-based group
intervention to female rural veterans, Reservists, National Guardsmen, and civilians
suffering with PTSD. This study is an expansion, seeking to add a treatment arm of women,
to an already CDMRP-funded study that completed in July 2014 treating male combat veterans
with military-related PTSD. The long-term objective of this project is to disseminate an
empirically sound TMH PTSD protocol for male and female veterans, Reserve and Guard that
will extend the use of CPT to remote rural sites. It is hypothesized that using VTC, will
be as effective as the in-person mode of service delivery for providing CPT.
This expansion is a 4-year RCT, plus a 1 year no-cost extension, which provides a direct
comparison of the VTC and in-person modalities using rigorous methodology and a
sophisticated analysis of treatment equivalency in clinical and process outcome domains.
Outcome domains include clinical and process outcomes. Approximately 154 female veterans,
Reservists, National Guardsmen, or civilians with PTSD have been recruited from multiple VA
clinical sites and community health centers (for N=110 completers). Consistent with the male
combat veterans CPT study, prospective participants received a comprehensive assessment
battery at baseline to determine eligibility. The exclusion criteria selected are consistent
with large PTSD randomized clinical trials as well as research using the CPT protocol with
military populations with PTSD. The treatment is delivered up to twice a week for up to 12
weeks by a doctoral level psychologist. Quality control procedures have been incorporated
into the study's design to ensure integrity, fidelity and standard administration of the CPT
intervention across both conditions. It is expected that the results from this project can
be applied to other VA and military locations, where similar specialized PTSD clinical
services are needed but unavailable due to geographic barriers.
- diagnosis of current PTSD established by the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS)
- a stable psychotropic medication regimen for a minimum of 45 days prior to study
entry for those taking such medications.
- significant cognitive impairment or history of organic mental disorder,
- active psychotic symptoms/disorder,
- active homicidal or suicidal ideation,
- current substance dependence, and
- unwillingness to refrain from substance abuse during treatment.