Development and Pilot Test of a Therapist-Assisted Self-Management Program for Completers of Trauma-Focused Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Shannon M. Kehle-Forbes, Tara Galovski, Melissa A. Polusny, Kyle Possemato, Sean Nugent, Eliza McManus, Allison L. Baier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Veterans who complete an evidence-based trauma-focused therapy (TFT) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report continued treatment needs to build self-efficacy, promote continued skill application, and bolster engagement in valued activities. This paper describes the rationale, development, and treatment structure of a novel 4-session therapist-assisted self-management program, named EMPOWER, for TFT completers. A mixed methods approach was used to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention in an open pilot trial with 12 veterans. Therapists delivered the treatment with fidelity and participants reported high acceptability and satisfaction with EMPOWER. Quantitatively, participants reported meaningful improvements in quality of life and small improvements in community engagement; however, there were no clinically meaningful changes in self-efficacy, PTSD symptoms, depression, or functioning pre- to postintervention. Qualitatively, participants noted EMPOWER met their post TFT needs and that the structure of treatment was helpful in continuing to practice TFT skills. They also noted improvements in self-efficacy for self-managing PTSD symptoms and an increase in valued activities. Findings suggest EMPOWER is feasible, acceptable, and meets veterans’ post-TFT treatment needs. A larger-scale, randomized trial of EMPOWER is warranted to evaluate the impact of EMPOWER on self-efficacy, clinical symptoms, functioning, and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • PTSD
  • cognitive processing therapy
  • prolonged exposure therapy
  • self-management
  • veterans

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