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An integrated approach to delivering exposure-based treatment for symptoms of PTSD and depression in OIF/OEF veterans: preliminary findings.
Strachan M, Gros DF, Ruggiero KJ, Lejuez CW, Acierno R. An integrated approach to delivering exposure-based treatment for symptoms of PTSD and depression in OIF/OEF veterans: preliminary findings. Behavior Therapy. 2012 Sep 1; 43(3):560-9.
Combat-exposed military personnel from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan report high rates of PTSD and associated psychiatric problems. A formidable body of research supports exposure therapy as a front-line intervention for PTSD; however, relative to studies of civilians, fewer investigations have evaluated the effectiveness of exposure therapy using military samples. Specifically, barriers to care (e.g., stigma associated with receiving mental health services ) may compromise utilization of evidence-based psychotherapy. As such, researchers have argued that veterans with PTSD may require an integrated and innovative approach to the delivery of exposure techniques. This paper presents the rationale for and preliminary data from an ongoing clinical trial that compares the home-based telehealth (HBT) application of a brief, behavioral treatment (Behavioral Activation and Therapeutic Exposure; BA-TE) for veterans with PTSD to the standard, in-person application of the same treatment. Forty OIF/OEF veterans with PTSD and MDD were consented, enrolled, and randomized to condition (BA-TE in-person, or BA-TE HBT) and symptoms of anxiety and depression were assessed at pre- and posttreatment. Participants in both conditions experienced reductions in depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms between pre- and posttreatment, suggesting that HBT application of an integrated PTSD treatment may be feasible and effective.