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A randomized trial of an online, coach-assisted self-management PTSD intervention tailored for women veterans.

Lehavot K, Millard SP, Thomas RM, Yantsides K, Upham M, Beckman K, Hamilton AB, Sadler A, Litz B, Simpson T. A randomized trial of an online, coach-assisted self-management PTSD intervention tailored for women veterans. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology. 2021 Feb 1; 89(2):134-141.

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OBJECTIVE: Scalable, efficiently delivered treatments are needed to address the needs of women Veterans with PTSD. This randomized clinical trial compared an online, coach-assisted cognitive behavioral intervention tailored for women Veterans with PTSD to phone monitoring only. METHOD: Women Veterans who met diagnostic criteria for PTSD were randomized to an 8-week web-based intervention, called DElivery of Self TRaining and Education for Stressful Situations (DESTRESS)-Women Veterans version (WV), or to phone monitoring only (N = 102). DESTRESS-WV consisted of online sessions and 15-min weekly phone calls from a study coach. Phone monitoring included 15-min weekly phone calls from a study coach to offer general support. PTSD symptom severity (PTSD Symptom-Checklist-Version 5 [PCL-5]) was evaluated pre and posttreatment, and at 3 and 6 months posttreatment. RESULTS: More participants completed phone monitoring than DESTRESS-WV (96% vs. 76%, p = 0.01), although treatment satisfaction was significantly greater in the DESTRESS-WV condition. We failed to confirm the superiority of DESTRESS-WV in intent-to-treat slope changes in PTSD symptom severity. Both treatments were associated with significant reductions in PTSD symptom severity over time. However, post hoc analyses of treatment completers and of those with baseline PCL 33 revealed that the DESTRESS-WV group had greater improvement in PTSD symptom severity relative to phone monitoring with significant differences at the 3-month follow-up assessment. CONCLUSIONS: Both DESTRESS-WV and phone monitoring resulted in significant improvements in women Veterans' PTSD symptoms. DESTRESS-WV may be an appropriate care model for women Veterans who can engage in the demands of the treatment and have higher baseline symptoms. Future research should explore characteristics of and the methods of reliably identifying women Veterans who are most likely to benefit. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

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