Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 53 Number 5, 2016
   Pages 629 — 640

Abstract — Randomized controlled trial of a brief Internet-based intervention for families of Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder

Alejandro Interian, PhD;1* Anna Kline, PhD;1 Deborah Perlick, PhD;2–3 Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH;2,4 Ann Feder, LCSW;5 Marc D. Weiner, PhD, JD;6 Marjorie F. Goldstein, PhD, MPH;7 Kerry Hennessy, MPH;6 Lauren St. Hill, BS;6 Miklos Losonczy, MD, PhD8

1Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) New Jersey Health Care System, Lyons, NJ; and Department of Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; 2VA Veterans Integrated Service Network 3, Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Bronx, NY; 3Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, New York, NY; 4Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY; 5VA Veterans Integrated Service Network 3, Bronx, NY; 6Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; 7National Development and Research Institutes Inc, New York, NY; 8Jewish Board for Family and Child Services, Bronx, NY

Abstract — Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their families require resources to cope with postdeployment readjustment. Responding to this need, the current study examined a brief Internet-based intervention that provided Veterans' families with psychoeducation on postdeployment readjustment. Participants were 103 dyads of Veterans with probable PTSD and a designated family member/partner. Dyads were randomized to an intervention group, in which the family member completed the intervention, or to a control group with no intervention. Each member of the dyad completed surveys at baseline and 2 mo follow-up. Family member surveys focused on perceived empowerment, efficacy to provide support, and communication (perceived criticism and reactivity to criticism). Veteran surveys assessed perceived family support and communication. Results showed that Veterans in the intervention group reported decreases in reactivity to criticism but also decreased perceived family support. No significant differences were observed in outcomes reported by family members. This preliminary study provides an early understanding of this novel outreach program, as well as the challenges inherent with a very brief intervention. Future research can build on the current study by more closely evaluating the communication changes that occur with this form of intervention and whether greater intervention intensity is needed.

Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov; "The families of heroes: An evaluation of an online educational tool": NCT01554839; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01554839?term=NCT01554839

Key Words: family communication, family support, intervention, OEF, OIF, outreach program, postdeployment, psychoeducation, PTSD, resources.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 53, No.5

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Interian A, Kline A, Perlick D, Dixon L, Feder A, Weiner MD, Goldstein MF, Hennessy K, St. Hill L, Losonczy M. Randomized controlled trial of a brief Internet-based intervention for families of Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2016;53(5):629–40.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2014.10.0257
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