Evaluation and Treatment of Substance Abuse in Veterans With PTSD Disability Claims
Veterans can apply for compensation and pension (C & P) benefits for a disability related to military service. The application exam for these benefits provides an opportunity for Veterans returning from service to access VA care. The investigators will recruit Veterans applying for C & P to participate in this study. All enrolled participants will complete questionnaires around the time of their C & P exam related to substance abuse, PTSD, service use, and attitudes. The investigators will monitor enrolled Veterans' attendance at treatment over time, and examine whether C & P award, substance use, and beliefs about benefits are related to treatment attendance. Some enrolled participants will be assigned to one of two study groups: a treatment group and a no-additional-treatment group. People assigned to these groups will complete the same substance abuse, PTSD, service use, and attitudes questionnaires two additional times during the study. Participants assigned to the treatment group will receive information about the relationship between substance use and PTSD and will be referred to relevant treatment. The investigators will test whether Veterans who receive no-additional-treatment have different symptoms over time and attend less treatment sessions (mental health or substance abuse) than people assigned to treatment.
Attendance at Treatment
PTSD, Substance Use, and Attendance at Treatment
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Evaluation and Treatment of Substance Use in Veterans With PTSD Disability Claims|
- Treatment Attendance [ Time Frame: 24 Weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Weeks engaged in substance abuse and/or mental health treatment
- substance use [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Days of alcohol use
- PTSD [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]symptom severity measured by Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS)
|Study Start Date:||March 2013|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||December 2017|
|Estimated Primary Completion Date:||September 2017 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
The SBIRT-VA manual codifies basic substance abuse screening, treatment, Motivational Interviewing and referral procedures. It is designed for providers with minimal substance abuse expertise and is easy for experienced substance abuse providers to deliver.
Study sessions include identifying the Veterans' values through a card sort, the change ruler, on which the Veteran rates his/her willingness to change current behavior, listing the pros and cons of changing.
SBIRT Therapy overview-
No Intervention: No additional treatment
Veterans assigned to the control condition will not receive any study-related therapy. A Veteran who completes a Compensation examination ordinarily has no further treatment, referral, or debriefing as part of the Compensation examination.
The Compensation examination that determines if a Veteran is entitled to any disability payments related to military service is a crucial gateway to accessing VA care for returning OEF/OIF Veterans. However, researchers and oversight agencies have noted that examiners typically do not have guidelines for evaluating comorbid conditions like substance abuse and for referring patients to treatment.
In the Evaluative Component of this study, OEF/OIF Veterans presenting for Compensation evaluations for PTSD will be approached to undergo a paid battery of confidential substance use, PTSD, service use and attitude assessments prior to their scheduled Compensation examinations. The batteries will be collected again twice, four and twelve weeks after the Compensation examinations. Long-term follow-up data will be extracted from VA databases including diagnoses, the results of the Veterans' Compensation evaluations, award determination, use of VA services and attendance at mental health and/or substance abuse treatment.
In the Clinical Trial Component of this study, one hundred sixty Veterans identified during the baseline evaluation as having a substance use disorder will be randomly assigned to a session of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) or to No-Additional-Treatment. SBIRT is an approach to identifying and treating patients with substance abuse issues who are presenting for purposes other than substance abuse treatment. It involves Motivational Interviewing, which has been a consistently effective approach to facilitating engagement in substance abuse treatment in Veterans (Davis, Baer et al. 2003) and other populations. The study will examine factors associated with attendance at treatment including substance use, Veterans' beliefs about benefits, and compensation award. Group comparisons will be conducted on rates of treatment attendance, alcohol use, and PTSD symptoms.
|Contact: Marc I Rosen, MD||(202) 932-5711 ext firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Contact: Theodore Speroff, PhD||(615) email@example.com|
|United States, Connecticut|
|VA Connecticut Health Care System (West Haven)||Recruiting|
|West Haven, Connecticut, United States, 06516|
|Contact: Fred S Wright, MD 203-937-3830 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Contact: Marybeth Fernandez (203) 932-5711 ext 2362 Marybeth.Fernandez@va.gov|
|Principal Investigator: Marc I. Rosen, MD|
|Principal Investigator:||Marc I. Rosen, MD||VA Connecticut Health Care System (West Haven)|