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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Reger GM, Hoffman J, Riggs D, Rothbaum BO, Ruzek J, Holloway KM, Kuhn E. The "PE coach" smartphone application: an innovative approach to improving implementation, fidelity, and homework adherence during prolonged exposure. Psychological Services. 2013 Aug 1; 10(3):342-9.
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Abstract: Prolonged exposure (PE) is an empirically supported treatment that is being disseminated broadly to providers in the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense. Innovative methods are needed to support the implementation, dissemination, and patient and provider adherence to PE. The PE Coach is a smartphone application (app) designed to mitigate barriers to PE implementation. PE Coach is installed on the patient''s phone and includes a range of capabilities for use during the PE session and after each session to support the treatment. Functions include the ability to audio record treatment sessions onto the patient''s device, to construct the in vivo hierarchy on the device, to record completed homework exercises, to review homework adherence, and to track symptom severity over time. The app also allows sessions and homework to be scheduled directly in the app, populating the device calendar with patient reminder notifications. In the final session, a visual display of symptom improvement and habituation to items on the in vivo hierarchy is presented. These capabilities may significantly improve convenience, provider implementation and adherence, and patient compliance with treatment. Future research is needed to test whether PE Coach is useful and effective.

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