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Study adaptation, design, and methods of a web-based PTSD intervention for women Veterans.

Lehavot K, Litz B, Millard SP, Hamilton AB, Sadler A, Simpson T. Study adaptation, design, and methods of a web-based PTSD intervention for women Veterans. Contemporary clinical trials. 2017 Feb 1; 53:68-79.

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Women Veterans are a rapidly growing population with high risk of exposure to potentially traumatizing events and PTSD diagnoses. Despite the dissemination of evidence-based treatments for PTSD in the VA, most women Veteran VA users underutilize these treatments. Web-based PTSD treatment has the potential to reach and engage women Veterans with PTSD who do not receive treatment in VA settings. Our objective is to modify and evaluate Delivery of Self Training and Education for Stressful Situations (DESTRESSS), a web-based cognitive-behavioral intervention for PTSD, to target PTSD symptoms among women Veterans. The specific aims are to: (1) obtain feedback about DESTRESS, particularly on its relevance and sensitivity to women, using semi-structured interviews with expert clinicians and women Veterans with PTSD, and make modifications based on this feedback; (2) conduct a pilot study to finalize study procedures and make further refinements to the intervention; and (3) conduct a randomized clinical trial (RCT) evaluating a revised, telephone-assisted DESTRESS compared to telephone monitoring only. We describe the results from the first two aims, and the study design and procedures for the ongoing RCT. This line of research has the potential to result in a gender-sensitive, empirically-based, online treatment option for women Veterans with PTSD.

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