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Sripada RK, Walters HM, Ganoczy D, Avallone KM, Cigrang JA, Rauch SAM. Feasibility and Acceptability of Prolonged Exposure in Primary Care (PE-PC) for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Federally Qualified Health Centers: A Pilot Study. Administration and policy in mental health. 2022 Sep 1; 49(5):722-734.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychiatric disorder that affects 6% of U.S. adults, yet is treated in only 30% of affected individuals and even fewer low-income individuals. One third of the nation's low-income individuals are treated in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Most of these facilities lack capacity to provide their patients with first-line, evidence-based treatments for PTSD such as Prolonged Exposure (PE). To address this problem, PE has been adapted for use in a primary care setting and demonstrated efficacy in a brief model for military service members (PE in Primary Care: PE-PC). The effectiveness of this treatment in civilian, low-resource settings such as FQHCs is unknown. This pilot study tested the feasibility and acceptability of PE-PC in 30 Michigan FQHC patients. High rates of therapy participation suggest that the intervention was feasible and acceptable. Semi-structured interview data from 10 patients and 5 FQHC providers indicated that the intervention was helpful and filled a critical need for effective PTSD treatment in the FQHC setting. Interviews also elucidated barriers such as transportation, provider training, and time commitment for patients and providers. These findings set the stage for a full-scale randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of PE-PC on PTSD symptoms in this low-resource, high-need setting.Trial registry ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03711266. October 18, 2018.