for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Diego, California
study started
estimated completion



This study will provide a certain type of exposure therapy, called prolonged exposure therapy (PE), to military Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One hundred and seventy-five Veterans will participate in the study. The main study goal is to compare PE conducted in three different ways: (1) PE that is office-based (OB; Veterans come to a VA clinic and meet with a therapist via telehealth, using videoconferencing technology), (2) PE delivered via home-based telehealth (HBT; Veterans stay at home and meet with the therapist via telehealth, using videoconferencing technology), and (3) PE delivered in home, in person (IHIP; the therapist goes to the Veterans' homes to provide the psychotherapy). Symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety will be examined at pre-treatment, post-treatment and at six-month follow up to determine if symptoms change over time. Study hypotheses state that the IHIP approach, compared to the other two approaches, will be more effective at reducing the PTSD symptoms experienced by these Veterans because it will help Veterans attend each session and complete the therapy "homework" assigned by the therapists (such as doing feared, but safe, activities around the house or the neighborhood). However, the delivery of IHIP may cost more than the delivery of PE via the other modalities.


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Telehealth Video teleconferencing In home therapy Prolonged Exposure Disease Stress Disorders, Traumatic Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic Office-based telehealth (OBT) Home-based telehealth (HBT) In home, in person (IHIP)


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  1. Military Veterans enrolled in a program at VASDHS;
  2. primary diagnosis of PTSD as a consequence of any index traumatic event. The diagnosis will include a clear memory of the traumatic event and the 17 other core symptoms of PTSD from the DSM-IV. Note that comorbid mood and anxiety disorders are expected and will be permitted (to maximize generalizability) if PTSD symptoms are judged to be predominant based on primacy and severity of symptoms. The proposed treatment often concurrently ameliorates depression and anxiety symptoms;
  3. age 18 or older; and
  4. Primary residence within 35 miles of the center point of La Jolla, CA center (to make therapist travel to home sites feasible for this project). This will include the major cities of San Diego, Chula Vista (23 miles Southeast; 30 minutes), La Mesa (19 miles East; 25 minutes), Coronado (18 miles South; 30 minutes), Oceanside (36 miles Southeast; 39 minutes), Escondido (27 miles northeast; 35 minutes) and San Ysidro (28 miles South; 32 minutes).

You CAN'T join if...

  1. unmanaged dementia, psychosis or manic episodes in past year (assessed by phone screen, chart review, and clinician judgment);
  2. substance or alcohol dependence in past 60 days (as assessed by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test [AUDIT]);
  3. concurrent psychotherapies targeting PTSD (Veterans who are engaged in treatment for non PTSD symptoms, such as 12-step programs for substance problems or couples therapy for relationship issues, will remain eligible); and
  4. severe physical disease or disorder (e.g., cardiovascular or respiratory disease;severe impairments in speech, vision, or hearing) that would make it difficult to ensure regular attendance at psychotherapy sessions or would significantly impede learning (as assessed during phone screen discussion with potential participants).Potential participants who have had changes in the type and dosage of psychotropic medications in the preceding 60 days will be asked to wait until their medication regimen has stabilized to minimize treatment confounds. Psychotropic medication use will also be monitored to determine whether random assignment to treatment conditions resulted in unequal rates of use. As recommended by Bradley and colleagues,individuals with suicidal ideation will not be excluded from the study a priori, but rather suicidal urges or plans will be assessed throughout the study and appropriately addressed (by intervention or referral). The depression measure (the BDI-II) assesses suicidality explicitly (item 9). Dr. Thorp has extensive experience working with suicidal individuals and teaching crisis management skills, and the other study therapists will be trained in these skills as well.


  • VA San Diego Healthcare System accepting new patients
    San Diego California 92161 United States


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Veterans Medical Research Foundation
Study Type
Last Updated