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Veterans’ Attitudes towards Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy.

Kehle-Forbes SM, Partin MR, Slone L, Polusny MA, Sayer NA, Gerould HL. Veterans’ Attitudes towards Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy. Poster session presented at: International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Annual Symposium; 2014 Nov 6; Miami, FL.


Objective: Low levels of veteran engagement in evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) for PTSD may be due to veterans' lack of knowledge or negative attitudes regarding the treatments. The goal of this project was to understand veterans' existing knowledge of prolonged exposure (PE) and cognitive processing therapy (CPT) and to elicit their opinions regarding the treatments. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 31 VA users with PTSD; we recruited participants in three strata (male OEF/OIF, male Vietnam, and female veterans). Participants were first asked about their knowledge of EBPs and were subsequently shown a video explaining either PE or CPT. Using a modified grounded theory approach, we analyzed responses to the following questions: "What got your attention in the video?" and "Would you feel comfortable trying the treatment?" Results: Few veterans were aware of PE or CPT. Veterans in all three strata reported that the effectiveness of the treatments stood out to them and made them feel as though positive change was possible. Veterans perceived the treatments as challenging and had concerns about whether the treatments would work specifically for them. Most veterans expressed a willingness to try the treatments, although many desired more details regarding the session content. Discussion: We will discuss how the results are being used to develop materials to increase veteran demand for EBPs.

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