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Cook JM, Simiola V, Thompson R, Mackintosh MA, Rosen C, Sayer N, Schnurr PP. Implementation Patterns of Two Evidence-Based Psychotherapies in Veterans Affairs Residential Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Programs: A Five-Point Longitudinal National Investigation. Journal of traumatic stress. 2020 Aug 1; 33(4):432-442.
The present study examined the patterns of adoption of two evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs)-prolonged exposure (PE) and cognitive processing therapy (CPT)-in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) residential posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment programs. A total of 526 providers from 39 programs nationwide completed online quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews, collected at five assessment points between 2008 and 2015, concerning the use of PE and CPT. By the midpoint of the study period, responders from most programs reported having adopted one or both EBPs as either core components of their programs or "tracks" for certain patients within their programs, adoption rates were 52.8% of programs at Time 3, 61.0% at Time 4, and 66.7% at Time 5. Evaluation of adoption patterns over time suggested that CPT was used in more programs and with more patients within programs compared to PE. At Time 5, respondents from half of the programs reported little or no adoption of PE, whereas the CPT adoption rate was reported to be "little or none" for one-fifth of the programs. The adoption of PE was generally slower compared to CPT adoption. The slower rate of adoption may be related to the resource-intensive nature of implementing PE on an individual basis in a residential setting as compared to the multiple ways CPT can be delivered: individually or in group settings, and with or without the inclusion of the trauma narrative. Strategies to improve sustainability measurement and implications for implementation science are discussed.