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Improving function through primary care treatment of PTSD: The IMPACT study protocol.

Rauch SAM, Kim HM, Acierno R, Ragin C, Wangelin B, Blitch K, Muzzy W, Hart S, Zivin K, Cigrang J. Improving function through primary care treatment of PTSD: The IMPACT study protocol. Contemporary clinical trials. 2022 Sep 1; 120:106881.

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Despite the availability of effective psychological interventions for PTSD, access to and retention in these interventions remains problematic. Of note, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) developed and implemented post-deployment health surveys that screen for PTSD in primary care (PC), but effective PC-based, psychological intervention treatment options have yet to be established. To address the literal physical gap between where the patients first present for care (i.e., primary care) and where they must go to receive first-line treatment for PTSD (i.e., specialty mental health), study investigators developed a 4-6 visit Prolonged Exposure for Primary Care (PE-PC) treatment that has shown efficacy in reduction of PTSD. To extend previous work to recovery-based mental health care, the Improving Function Through Primary Care Treatment of PTSD (IMPACT) study examined function as assessed by the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule [WHODAS 2.0; (Axelsson, Lindsäter, Ljótsson, Andersson, and Hedman-Lagerlöf, 2017)]. Veterans presenting in VHA primary care mental health integration (PCMHI) clinics with PTSD or significant subsyndromal PTSD who met minimal inclusion and exclusion criteria were randomly assigned to PE-PC or treatment as usual (TAU). If proven effective in improving function, PE-PC would provide a new access point for high quality PTSD care and allow greater numbers of veterans to access effective PTSD treatment. Trial Registration: NCT03581981.

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