Overview

This trial is active, not recruiting.

Conditions post-traumatic stress disorder, combat disorders
Treatments 17 week exposure therapy control arm, trauma management therapy, intensive 3-week trauma management therapy
Phase phase 2
Sponsor University of Central Florida
Start date November 2015
End date June 2017
Trial size 180 participants
Trial identifier NCT02809326, UCFlorida

Summary

This trial will evaluate the efficacy and efficiency of Trauma Management Therapy (TMT; Frueh, Turner, Beidel, 1996; Beidel, Frueh, Uhde, under preparation), which combines individual virtual reality (VR) assisted exposure therapy with group social and emotional rehabilitation skills training (will be superior to a treatment consisting of the same VR- exposure and group psychoeducational group therapy. TMT will be conducted in traditional 17-week format, and a 3-week intensive treatment format. Outcome will be assessed using relevant clinical, process, and cost outcomes. Additionally, investigators will assess the potential of olfactory stimulation as a trigger for PTSD symptoms of intrusive thoughts and re-experiencing. Therefore, this proposal will integrate clinical and neurobiological assessment studies designed to understand the role of these factors in the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of PTSD.

United States No locations recruiting
Other Countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking single blind (subject)
Primary purpose treatment
Arm
(Experimental)
TMTconsists of 29 treatment sessions administered over a period of 3 weeks. Individual VR-assisted exposure sessions (14 sessions) are followed by Social and Emotional Regulation (SER) sessions conducted in small groups. Individual exposure therapy includes virtual reality to assist in augmenting exposure therapy. Group therapy includes anger management, social skills training, problem solving and behavioral activation for depression. The treatment program as a whole results in approximately 43.5 hours of therapist contact for each patient.
trauma management therapy TMT
TMT consists of 29 treatment sessions administered over a period of 17 weeks. After the Education session, treatment occurs three times a week during the Virtual Reality (VR) assisted Exposure phase, and then once a week during Social and Emotional Regulation (SER). Education and exposure are implemented individually while SER is administered in small group sessions (3-5 people). All exposure treatment sessions will terminate after a decline of 50% in the highest rating recorded. SER sessions will be 90 minutes. The treatment program as a whole results in approximately 43.5 hours of therapist contact for each patient.
(Experimental)
Intensive 3-Week Trauma Management Therapy consists of 29 treatment sessions administered over a period of 3 weeks. Individual VR-assisted exposure sessions and group sessions are conducted Monday-Friday with individual sessions conducted in the morning and Social and Emotional Regulation (SER) sessions conducted in the afternoon. Education and exposure are implemented individually while SER is administered in small group sessions (3-5 people). All exposure treatment sessions will terminate after a decline of 50% in the highest rating recorded. SER sessions will be 90 minutes. The treatment program as a whole results in approximately 43.5 hours of therapist contact for each patient.
intensive 3-week trauma management therapy Intensive TMT
Intensive 3-Week Trauma Management Therapy consists of 29 treatment sessions administered over a period of 3 weeks. Individual VR-assisted exposure sessions and group sessions are conducted Monday-Friday with individual sessions conducted in the morning and Social and Emotional Regulation (SER) sessions conducted in the afternoon. Education and exposure are implemented individually while SER is administered in small group sessions (3-5 people). All exposure treatment sessions will terminate after a decline of 50% in the highest rating recorded. SER sessions will be 90 minutes. The treatment program as a whole results in approximately 43.5 hours of therapist contact for each patient.
(Active Comparator)
The Control Arm of the study contains 15 individual VR-assisted exposure therapy sessions and 14 psychoeducational group sessions conducted over a period of 17 weeks. After the Education session, treatment occurs three times a week during the Virtual Reality (VR) assisted Exposure phase, and then once a week during the Psychoeducational phase.The psychoeducational group therapy, will include topics such as: DSM-IV criteria of PTSD, prevalence of PTSD, risk factors for PTSD, biological and conditioning models of PTSD, PTSD comorbidity, pharmacological treatment of PTSD, the impact of substance abuse, impairment in interpersonal functioning among veterans with PTSD, and issues related to anger control problems and suggested coping strategies
17 week exposure therapy control arm Exposure Therapy, Psychoeducation
15 individual VR-assisted exposure therapy sessions and 14 psychoeducational group sessions conducted over a period of 17 weeks. After the Education session, treatment occurs three times a week during the Virtual Reality (VR) assisted Exposure phase, and then once a week during the Psychoeducational phase.The psychoeducational group therapy, will include topics such as: DSM-IV criteria of PTSD, prevalence of PTSD, risk factors for PTSD, biological and conditioning models of PTSD, PTSD comorbidity, pharmacological treatment of PTSD, the impact of substance abuse, impairment in interpersonal functioning among veterans with PTSD, and issues related to anger control problems and suggested coping strategies

Primary Outcomes

Measure
Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS; Blake et al., 1990; Weathers & Litz, 1994; Weathers et al., 1999)
time frame: after 17 weeks for two study arms; after three weeks for the third study arm

Secondary Outcomes

Measure
Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ; Evans & Cope, 1989)
time frame: after 17 weeks for two study arms; after three weeks for the third study arm
Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (Selected items)
time frame: after 17 weeks for two study arms; after three weeks for the third study arm
Objective Functional Indicators
time frame: after 17 weeks for two study arms; after three weeks for the third study arm
Clinical Global Impressions Scale
time frame: after 17 weeks for two study arms; after three weeks for the third study arm
Health-Related Functioning: Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36 Health Survey
time frame: after 17 weeks for two study arms; after three weeks for the third study arm
Patient Ratings
time frame: after 17 weeks for two study arms; after three weeks for the third study arm
The PTSD Checklist (PCL-M; Weathers et al., 1993)
time frame: after 17 weeks for two study arms; after three weeks for the third study arm

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 18 years up to 65 years old.

Inclusion criteria: Veterans or active duty military personnel with combat-related PTSD as a result of deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. Exclusion criteria: 1. Personnel with acute cardiac difficulties (angina, myocardial infarction, and severe hypertension) will initially be excluded from the study due to concern that intensive EXP, often accompanied by temporary increases in heart rate and blood pressure, may pose risks of exacerbating cardiac status. They will be included once they are cleared by the cardiologist. 2. Veterans with comorbid Axis I psychotic disorders or acute substance abuse disorders initially will be excluded from the study but will be eligible once their substance abuse is under control for at least two weeks. Additionally, an Axis II diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder will be reason for exclusion. 3. Because PTSD typically is accompanied by high rates of comorbid psychiatric disorders (Keane & Wolfe, 1990), patients with comorbid depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders other than Antisocial Personality Disorder will be included. Also, veterans who have a diagnosis of mild Traumatic Brain Injury will be included, in order that our sample is as representative of OIF/OEF veterans as possible. We will address the issue of comorbid mTBI in the data analysis. In all cases included, PTSD must be considered the primary disorder. 4. Patients must have a symptom duration of at least 6 months. 5. Patients on benzodiazepines will be given an opportunity to discontinue and will be off benzodiazepines for at least two weeks prior to beginning the study. This exclusion is based on the empirical evidence to suggest that the efficacy of EXP for other anxiety disorders may be attenuated by benzodiazepines (Gray, 1987; Wardle, 1990). Patients on SSRI antidepressant medication for PTSD (Ballenger et al., 2000; Brady et al., 2000) will be included once their medication regimen has stabilized for at least 2 weeks. SSRI medication dosage must remain stable throughout the course of the study.

Additional Information

Official title Trauma Management Therapy for OEF and OIF Combat Veterans
Principal investigator Deborah C Beidel, Ph.D., ABPP
Description Background: Troop deployment for OIF/OEF has been extensive for the past five years Among returning veterans, up to 18.5% are diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to its positive symptoms (intrusive thoughts, reexperiencing, hyperarousal, and avoidance), PTSD is associated with social maladjustment, poor quality of life, medical comorbidity, and general symptom severity. Social and emotional problems include social avoidance, guilt, anger, and unemployment, impulsive or violent behavior, and family discord. A majority (> 90%) of veterans seeking treatment for PTSD also seek disability compensation for debilitating occupational impairment and there are virtually no administrative or research data to indicate veterans are recovering from PTSD. Exposure therapy, which operates on long-established and fundamental principles of behavior therapy, offers hope for acute symptom alleviation, but may not address severe social impairment. Objectives/Hypothesis: To test the hypothesis that Trauma Management Therapy (TMT), which combines individual virtual reality (VR) assisted exposure therapy with group social and emotional rehabilitation skills training (will be superior to a treatment consisting of the same VR- exposure and group psychoeducational group therapy. Outcome will be assessed using relevant clinical, process, and cost outcomes. Additionally, we will assess the potential of olfactory stimulation as a trigger for PTSD symptoms of intrusive thoughts and re-experiencing. Therefore, this proposal will integrate clinical and neurobiological assessment studies designed to understand the role of these factors in the etiology, maintenance, and treatment of PTSD. Specific Aims: There are three specific aims: First, we will evaluate the efficacy of Trauma Management Therapy (TMT) for the treatment of PTSD in OIF/OEF and determine if TMT (which combines exposure and social/emotional rehabilitation) improves social/emotional functioning compared to our comparison group (exposure plus psychoeducational group therapy). Second, we will explore olfactory activation patterns that may aid understanding of brain mechanisms in PTSD. Third, we will determine TMT's cost efficacy using treatment expenses and resource utilization measures. Study Design: In a prospective randomized clinical trial we will test the superiority of TMT for OIF/OEF veterans with PTSD compared to exposure therapy plus psychoeducational group therapy. TMT combines VR assisted exposure therapy (VR-EXP) with social and emotional rehabilitation (SER). In addition to clinical, process, and cost outcomes relevant to PTSD for this population, we will include fMRI assessment of the central olfactory system in order to document its hypothesized role in fear acquisition and maintenance. Relevant outcome domains will be reassessed at mid-treatment, post-treatment, and 3- and 6-month follow-up.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in October 2016.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by University of Central Florida.