Project Summary Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prevalent among Veterans, puts Veterans at increased risk for obesity and related conditions. Veterans with PTSD lose less weight in VA’s MOVE! weight management program, due to PTSD symptoms that interfere with activity and healthy diet. In addition, many Veterans who receive evidence-based PTSD treatment remain symptomatic. A behavioral weight loss program that augments standard PTSD care and targets PTSD-related weight loss barriers called MOVE!+UP was piloted and iteratively refined among 44 overweight Veterans with PTSD. The fully developed MOVE!+UP is led by a psychologist and a Veteran peer support counselor, who provide complementary expertise. It includes 16 in-person group sessions with 90 minutes of general weight loss support, coupled with Cognitive Behavior Therapy skills to address PTSD-specific barriers. Each session also includes a 30-minute community walk to address hypervigilance-based activity barriers and enhance classroom-based learning. Veterans receive two individual dietician visits, and counseling calls as needed. The cohort receiving the final MOVE!+UP package reported high satisfaction and had better weight loss outcomes than Veterans with PTSD in the general MOVE! program. They also reported substantial PTSD symptom reduction. Treatment targets like eating behaviors, activity, and insomnia also improved. MOVE!+UP effectiveness must be tested in a randomized trial. Significance/Impact: MOVE!+UP is timely and efficient, simultaneously addressing physical and mental health of a priority Veteran group. MOVE!+UP is positioned to address HSR&D priorities by promoting mental health and improving PTSD symptoms, access to care, and whole health. This study is aligned with HSR&D and ORD methodological priorities by using a hybrid type 1 trial. This study’s cost and utilization analyses, and systematic identification of implementation barriers and facilitators, would place effectiveness findings in context and facilitate rapid translation to the field if MOVE!+UP is effective. This study will also provide insights about ways that general MOVE! and PTSD care can be enhanced to improve reach and effectiveness. Innovation: MOVE!+UP is the first weight loss program designed to address obesity in Veterans with PTSD. Specific Aims: This study proposes to randomize overweight/obese Veterans with PTSD enrolled in PTSD care to usual care enhanced with enrollment in MOVE! (control) or usual care enhanced with MOVE!+UP (intervention), and is guided by three aims: 1) Test whether intervention participants have greater 6-month weight loss (primary outcome), and 6-month PTSD symptom reduction and 12-month weight loss (secondary exploratory outcomes), relative to controls; 2) Assess whether compared to control, intervention participants have greater improvements on 6-month treatment targets: physical activity, eating behavior, insomnia, depression, and social support; 3) Estimate intervention and control condition costs and utilization, and identify MOVE!+UP implementation barriers and facilitators, to contextualize Aim 1 and inform future implementation. Methodology: Hybrid type 1 trial with 164 overweight/obese Veterans with PTSD enrolled in PTSD care. Implementation/Next Steps: This hybrid type 1 trial will provide data needed to prepare a MOVE!+UP implementation package for broader VA implementation if MOVE!+UP is effective. If it is not effective, Aims 2 and 3 will help understand how overweight Veterans with PTSD could be better supported in the future. Implementation activities would be coordinated with existing local, VISN, and national operational partners.
External Links for this Project
Grant Number: I01HX002755-01A2
Dimensions for VA
None at this time.
None at this time.
TRL - Applied/Translational, Treatment - Implementation
Health Promotion and Education, Symptom Management
None at this time.