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The Development of Marketing Materials to Increase Veteran Demand for Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for PTSD

Kehle-Forbes SM, Gerould H, Partin MR, Sayer NA, Slone L. The Development of Marketing Materials to Increase Veteran Demand for Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for PTSD. Poster session presented at: International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Annual Symposium; 2015 Nov 5; New Orleans, LA.


We applied social marketing principles, which have long been used in public health settings to promote behavior change, to develop an intervention to increase veteran demand for evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) for PTSD. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 31 VA users with full or subthreshold PTSD, recruiting participants from three strata (male OEF/OIF, male Vietnam, and female veterans). Interview participants were asked how they preferred to receive information about PTSD treatment options, their attitudes regarding PTSD recovery, and their reactions towards existing EBP educational materials. We used results from the interviews to make preliminary decisions regarding the themes to be used in the marketing materials, the groups to be targeted, and the mode of delivery. Three focus groups with a total of thirteen Veterans were conducted to elicit feedback on draft materials, which was used to guide further refinements. The final materials incorporated findings related to: veterans' preference to receive information in the mail, views regarding recovery, need for balanced information regarding EBPs effectiveness, concerns about EBPs for PTSD, desire for relatable testimonials, and request for materials directly targeted to women veterans. We will expand on these and other lessons learned and discuss implications for marketing treatments to veterans.

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