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Yuen EK, Gros DF, Price M, Zeigler S, Tuerk PW, Foa EB, Acierno R. Randomized Controlled Trial of Home-Based Telehealth Versus In-Person Prolonged Exposure for Combat-Related PTSD in Veterans: Preliminary Results. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2015 Jun 1; 71(6):500-12.
OBJECTIVES: Telehealth technology may reduce the effect of treatment barriers and improve participation in treatment for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present study is an ongoing randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of prolonged exposure (PE) delivered via in person or home-based video telehealth modalities. METHOD: A total of 52 veterans with combat-related PTSD were randomized to receive 8-12 weeks of PE through either home-based telehealth or standard in-person office-based care. RESULTS: Participants evinced significant reductions in symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety from pre- to posttreatment across both conditions. Analyses conducted within a noninferiority framework suggested nonsignificant treatment outcome differences in clinician-reported PTSD and self-reported anxiety between the conditions. Results were inconclusive for self-reported PTSD and depression symptoms. Patient satisfaction ratings did not significantly differ between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that PE can be delivered via home-based telehealth with outcomes and satisfaction ratings comparable to in-person practices for certain symptoms, however additional research is needed. This modality has the potential to address stigma- and geographic-related barriers to treatment, such as travel time and cost.