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Newsletter | Summer 2022 | South Central MIRECC

Publication Highlights

Articles and books authored by our affiliates enable us to share research and knowledge about mental health treatment with our Veteran, caregiver, provider and research communities.

Highlighted Articles

Drs. Amber Amspoker, Terri Fletcher, Julianna Hogan, and Jan Lindsay answered, “how much ‘human’ is needed in hybrid digital mental health interventions?” in an article in JMIR Mental Health (first author: Marylene Cloitre). Using webSTAIR, the study team compared the ratio of therapist support to internet sessions in a blended therapy delivered to trauma-exposed Veterans. Their non-inferiority trial showed that five coaching sessions worked as well as 10.

Dr. Sara Landes coauthored an article on the implementation strategy used to increase clinicians’ use of the caring letters suicide prevention intervention (first author: Mark Reger) in Psychological Services. This evaluation examined whether the use of centralized administrative support (Centralized Caring Letters) was associated with increased utilization of the intervention. In qualitative interviews with providers, clinicians described Caring Letters as beneficial and found the centralized features of the program were helpful. Centralized Caring Letters was associated with a very large increase in the use of Caring Letters.

Dr. Laurel Franklin coauthored an article comparing prolonged exposure to cognitive processing therapy for treating military-related PTSD among Veterans (first author: Dr. Paula Schnurr) in JAMA Network Open. This randomized clinical trial found that although prolonged exposure was statistically more effective than cognitive processing therapy, the difference was not clinically significant, and improvements in PTSD were meaningful in both treatment groups. These findings highlight the importance of shared decision-making to help patients understand the evidence and select their preferred treatment.

Dr. Muhammad Rais Baig’s (first author) article on using quetiapine as an adjunct to enhance prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD in Veterans in a randomized pilot trial is in press at the Journal of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy. In preparation for a full-scale randomized trial, the study team evaluated the feasibility, safety, and preliminary efficacy of quetiapine to enhance patient engagement in prolonged exposure therapy. Preliminary findings supported the feasibility, safety, and possible efficacy of quetiapine as an adjunct and a full-scale randomized trial is required to determine the true efficacy of quetiapine’s use.

Dr. Michael Cucciare coauthored an article on a randomized controlled trial that tested intensive referral to Al-Alon to facilitate participation in Al-Alon Family Groups by concerned others of patients in treatment for alcohol use disorder (first author: Christine Timko) in Addiction. The authors concluded that relative to usual care, Al-Anon Intensive Referral was not associated with increases in participation of concerned others in Al-Anon but was associated with more resources in the concerned other-patient relationship.

Last updated: July 28, 2022