"It Leaves Me Very Skeptical" Messaging in Marketing Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy to Veterans With PTSD

Shannon M. Kehle-Forbes, Heather Gerould, Melissa A. Polusny, Nina A Sayer, Melissa R Partin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: Direct-to-consumer marketing has the potential to increase demand for specific treatments, but little is known about how to best market evidence-based psychotherapies to veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The objective of this study was to gain an understanding of marketing messages that may impact veteran demand for prolonged exposure (PE) and cognitive processing therapy (CPT). Method: Veterans (n = 31) with full or subthreshold PTSD participated in semistructured interviews that queried attitudes about PTSD and recovery, current knowledge of PE and CPT, and reactions to existing educational materials. A 2-stage qualitative coding and analytic strategy was used to identify primary themes related to the marketing of PE and CPT. Results: Veterans viewed the treatments' effectiveness as their primary selling point but questioned the credibility of improvement descriptions that didn't fit with their experiences or beliefs about PTSD. Participants had difficulties distinguishing CPT from non-trauma-focused approaches in which they had previously participated, leading to skepticism about promised treatment effects and decreased interest. Without targeting, women veterans assumed information regarding PTSD treatment options applied only to men. Conclusions: Examination of the impact of a direct-to-consumer marketing campaign including these messages on PE and CPT demand is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Evidence-based psychotherapy
  • Implementation
  • PTSD
  • Social marketing
  • Veterans

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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