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Valentine SE, Fuchs C, Godfrey L, Elwy AR. Redesign of a brief PTSD treatment in safety net integrated primary care: Supporting implementation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. General hospital psychiatry. 2022 Jan 1; 74:94-101.
OBJECTIVE: We conducted a formative evaluation to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the safety net integrated primary care setting and to identify (and respond to) new implementation barriers prior to a hybrid type I effectiveness-implementation trial of a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment. METHOD: We used surveys and qualitative interviews with employee stakeholders (N = 27) to (1) understand pandemic-related factors that may influence implementation, including changes in patient needs, provider experiences, and the practice, and (2) assess the need for augmentation to study design, implementation plan, or intervention. RESULTS: Conventional content analysis and survey findings suggest that patient acuity and volume increased provider burden, leading to high burnout. Although the shift to telehealth improved behavioral health access, issues with technology access and literacy were common. Changes to the study design and implementation plan, based on findings, included the provision of multi-modality treatments (in person, telehealth, web-administered), technology and administrative support, and other strategies for reducing provider burnout. CONCLUSIONS: This study describes how an ongoing research study adapted to major changes to the implementation setting during the pandemic. Changes to study design and implementation plan were responsive to the shift to telehealth and therapist burden (and burnout) concerns.