Volume 53 Number 5, 2016
Pages 629 — 640
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.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, November 2, 2016 9:54 AM