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Home-based telehealth to deliver evidence-based psychotherapy in veterans with PTSD.

Strachan M, Gros DF, Yuen E, Ruggiero KJ, Foa EB, Acierno R. Home-based telehealth to deliver evidence-based psychotherapy in veterans with PTSD. Contemporary clinical trials. 2012 Mar 1; 33(2):402-9.

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Abstract:

Although medical service delivery via home-based telehealth technology (HBT) is gaining wider acceptance in managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, few studies have tested HBT applications of psychotherapy. Clinicians, administrators, and researchers question whether delivering psychotherapeutic services to patients in their homes via video-conferencing technology compromises patient safety, potency of treatment, or data security. Despite these concerns, HBT service delivery may increase access to evidence-based psychotherapies for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who may be less willing or less able to receive weekly treatment at a VA medical center or outpatient clinic due to symptom severity or other similar barriers to care. Indeed, although combat-exposed service members endorse high rates of psychiatric disorders, few appear to initiate mental health services or receive an adequate dose of treatment. Thus, using HBT technologies to administer evidence-based therapies remains uncharted territory in both the clinical and research arenas. This manuscript describes an ongoing four year randomized controlled trial comparing in-person Prolonged Exposure (PE) - a specialized evidence-based psychotherapy for PTSD - and PE delivered via HBT, with a particular focus on the selection, application, and strengths/weaknesses of HBT procedures.





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