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Telephone Case Monitoring (TCM) for Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (TCM-PTSD)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier:
First received: February 6, 2006
Last updated: October 1, 2014
Last verified: September 2014

February 6, 2006
October 1, 2014
October 2006
April 2011   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
a) violence, substance use, PTSD symptoms; b) time to rehospitalization; c) costs [ Time Frame: 4 and 12 months post-discharge (1-8 months post intervention) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
a) violence, substance use, PTSD symptoms; b) time to rehospitalization; c) costs
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00288860 on Archive Site
d) depressive symptoms, subjective quality of life [ Time Frame: 4 and 12 months post-discharge (1-8 months post intervention) ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
d) depressive symptoms, subjective quality of life
Not Provided
Not Provided
Telephone Case Monitoring (TCM) for Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Telephone Case Monitoring for Veterans With PTSD

The purpose of this study is to test whether providing PTSD patients additional support by telephone (in addition to usual outpatient care) after they discharge from residential treatment improves those patients' outcomes and keeps them out of the hospital longer.

Background: Poor compliance with aftercare may contribute to high rates of relapse and rehospitalization among veterans who received residential treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Telephone case monitoring has been shown to improve treatment adherence and reduced relapse among patients with chronic medical and substance use disorders, but has not been tested in PTSD patients.

Objectives: This multisite randomized controlled trial tested whether augmenting usual aftercare with telephone monitoring improved resulted in 1) improved clinical outcomes (less violence, substance use, and PTSD symptoms; 2) longer time to rehospitalization; 3) better compliance with aftercare in the year after discharge from residential treatment for PTSD.

Methods: This trial recruited 837 subjects from 6 PTSD residential treatment programs at 5 VA medical centers, 94.7% of the 884 projected. Patients who completed at least 14 days of residential PTSD treatment and discharged to VA outpatient care were eligible to participate. Subjects were randomized to usual aftercare care (n = 425) or usual aftercare plus biweekly telephone case monitoring calls during the first three months after discharge (n = 412). Telephone case monitors assessed current problems, encouraged treatment adherence, provided problem-solving support, and alerted providers to emergent care needs. Patient self-report measures of psychiatric symptoms, substance use, and violence were obtained at intake to residential treatment and 4 months (69% completion rate) and 12 months (64% completion rate) after discharge. Retention was lower than our planned 70% to 75% rate due to difficulty locating some patients who moved (even their collateral informants did not know where they were) and 45 participants asking to discontinue due to lack of time (n = 10), general dissatisfaction with VA (n = 6), distress during phone calls (n = 5), dissatisfaction with compensation (n = 1), or no specified reason (n = 24). Treatment utilization data was obtained from the VA National Patient Care Database.

Intent-to-treat analyses used mixed modeling to compare clinical outcomes in the telephone monitoring and usual care groups and 4 and 12 months after discharge. Survival analysis was used to compare conditions on time to rehospitalization. Having a slightly smaller-than-intended sample size resulted in modest reductions in statistical power, e.g., power to detect the expected d = .25 effect on PTSD outcomes was reduced from about 90% to 82%, and power to detect the anticipated W = .105 difference in rehospitalization rates was reduced from 88% to 85%. Secondary analyses assessed whether differences in outcomes between the telephone case monitoring and usual care groups were mediated by attending more outpatient visits and completing more medication refills. Exploratory analyses examined whether the effect of telephone support on the clinical outcome measures, number of treatment visits, and medication refills was moderated by number of outpatient mental health visits in the prior year, distance from clinic, treatment expectancies, therapeutic alliance, or co-occurring substance use problems.

Results: Treatment utilization (mental health visits and medication refills) did not vary between treatment conditions. Clinical outcomes and time to rehospitalization did not differ between conditions. Contrary to our assumptions, patients in the usual care condition had high engagement in aftercare following discharge from residential treatment, completing an average of 36 outpatient mental health visits in 12 months. We speculate that telephone care coordination has little impact for patients who are already high utilizers of care.

Status: Enrollment, intervention, data collection, and primary analyses are completed. Primary results have been published in Psychiatric Services (Rosen, Tiet, Harris et al., 2013) and two secondary papers have been published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress (Belsher, Tiet, Garvert, & Rosen, 2012; Rosen, Adler, & Tiet, 2013).

A CDMRP-funded study extending this approach to PTSD outpatients at the Durham, Puget Sound and Palo Alto VA medical centers has recently been completed. Initial results of that second trial suggest that telephone care management improved treatment attendance but had weak effects on outcomes.

Not Provided
Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
  • Behavioral: Telephone case monitoring
    Three months of biweekly telephone monitoring and support in addition to usual outpatient mental health care (psychotherapy and/or medications)
  • Other: Treatment as Usual Control
    Usual outpatient mental health care (psychotherapy and/or medications)
  • Experimental: Arm 1
    Telephone monitoring as augmentation to treatment as usual
    Intervention: Behavioral: Telephone case monitoring
  • Active Comparator: Arm 2
    Treatment as usual
    Intervention: Other: Treatment as Usual Control

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
December 2011
April 2011   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with a PTSD diagnosis entering PTSD residential treatment with an intended length of stay of 15 days or longer (patients in brief evaluation or acute stabilization tracks will not be included, as their discharge plan may include readmission to residential treatment within a few months).

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Patients discharging from residential treatment within four days of admission(insufficient time to consent and assess them);
  2. Active Duty military personnel;
  3. Patients transferred from residential care to an inpatient medical unit due to emergent medical problems;
  4. Patients with traumatic brain injury or other organic impairment that compromises capacity to consent.
18 Years and older
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
TEL 03-135
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs
Not Provided
Principal Investigator: Craig S. Rosen, PhD VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Department of Veterans Affairs
September 2014

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP