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The comparative effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy for male veterans treated in a VHA posttraumatic stress disorder residential rehabilitation program

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The comparative effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy for male veterans treated in a VHA posttraumatic stress disorder residential rehabilitation program
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  The Comparative Effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy for MaleVeterans Treated in a VHA Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ResidentialRehabilitation Program Jennifer Alvarez, Caitlin McLean,and Alex H. S. Harris Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System Craig S. Rosen and Josef I. Ruzek  Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System and StanfordUniversity Rachel Kimerling Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System Objective:  To examine the effectiveness of group cognitive processing therapy (CPT) relative totrauma-focused group treatment as usual (TAU) in the context of a Veterans Health Administration(VHA) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) residential rehabilitation program.  Method:  Participantswere 2 cohorts of male patients in the same program treated with either CPT ( n  104) or TAU ( n  93; prior to the implementation of CPT). Cohorts were compared on changes from pre- to posttreatmentusing the PTSD Checklist (PCL; Weathers, Litz, Herman, Huska, & Keane, 1993) and other measuresof symptoms and functioning. Minorities represented 41% of the sample, and the mean age was 52 years( SD  9.22). The CPT group was significantly younger and less likely to receive disability benefits forPTSD; however, these variables were not related to outcome.  Results:  Analyses of covariance controllingfor intake symptom levels and cohort differences revealed that CPT participants evidenced moresymptom improvement at discharge than TAU participants on the PCL,  F  (3, 193)  15.32,  p  .001,  b  6.25, 95% CI [3.06, 9.44], and other measures. In addition, significantly more patients treated with CPTwere classified as “recovered” or “improved” at discharge,   2 (1,  N     197)    4.93,  p    .032. Conclusions:  There is still room for improvement, as substantial numbers of veterans continue toexperience significant symptoms even after treatment with CPT in a residential program. However, CPTappears to produce significantly more symptom improvement than treatment conducted before theimplementation of CPT. The implementation of this empirically supported treatment in VHA settings isboth feasible and sustainable and is likely to improve care for male veterans with military-related PTSD. Keywords:  PTSD, veterans, cognitive processing therapy, group/residential therapy, dissemination Military service places individuals at high risk for exposure totrauma and for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Studies varybased on measurement and population sampled, but even the mostconservative estimates indicate that almost 18.7% of Vietnamveterans have reported symptoms consistent with PTSD at somepoint since their service (Dohrenwend et al., 2006). The NationalVietnam Readjustment Study reported lifetime PTSD prevalencerates of over 30% (Kulka et al., 1990). As soldiers return from Iraqand Afghanistan, it appears that a new generation of veterans isstruggling with this disorder and its consequences. A study of Army and Marine combat infantry units deployed to Iraq reporteda 18%–20% prevalence using a broad definition of PTSD (meeting  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders  [4th ed.;  DSM–IV  ; American Psychiatric Association, 1994] symptom cri-teria according to the PTSD Checklist [PCL; Weathers, Litz,Herman, Huska, & Keane, 1993]) and 12%–13% using a narrowdefinition (meeting  DSM–IV   criteria and a severity score of at least50 on the PCL) 3–4 months after returning to the United States This article was published Online First July 11, 2011.Jennifer Alvarez, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System; Cait-lin McLean, National Center for PTSD, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto HealthCare System; Alex H. S. Harris, Center for Health Care Evaluation,Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System; Craig S. Rosen, NationalCenter for PTSD and Center for Health Care Evaluation, Veterans AffairsPalo Alto Health Care System, and Department of Psychiatry and Behav-ioral Sciences, Stanford University; Josef I. Ruzek, National Center forPTSD, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University; Rachel Ki-merling, National Center for PTSD and Center for Health Care Evaluation,Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do notnecessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of VeteransAffairs, the U.S. government, or their respective institutions. This work was supported in part by Department of Defense Grant W81XWH-08-2-0659 and by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto Health CareSystem. We thank Kent Drescher, Patricia Resick, and the staff of theVeterans Affairs Palo Alto Heath Care System Trauma Recovery Programsfor their contributions to this article.Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to JenniferAlvarez, Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System,795 Willow Road (352-117), Menlo Park, CA 94025. E-mail: jennifer.alvarez@va.gov Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology In the public domain2011, Vol. 79, No. 5, 590–599 DOI: 10.1037/a0024466 590  (Hoge et al., 2004). A more recent investigation revealed 11.8% of active duty men and women reported PTSD immediately postde-ployment in Iraq, and 16.7% reported PTSD 3–6 months later(Milliken, Auchterlonie, & Hoge, 2007).Not surprisingly, PTSD is prevalent among veterans served bythe Veterans Health Administration (VHA) health care system.Nearly one in four (24.5%) Iraq and Afghanistan veterans treatedby VHA have received a PTSD diagnosis (VHA Office of PublicHealth and Environmental Hazards, 2009), and among all veteransserved by VHA, the proportion diagnosed with PTSD increased by60% between 2001 (4.8%) and 2007 (7.6%). This increase is likelydue to multiple factors, including the following: (a) implementa-tion of mandated screening for PTSD and improved detection; (b)an influx of newly returning veterans with high rates of PTSD; (c)increased prevalence of PTSD diagnoses among Vietnam-era vet-erans, potentially due to retirement and/or the current wars; and (d)more Vietnam veterans enrolled after a policy change to beginproviding free diabetes care for those exposed to Agent Orange.As a result, many VHA resources have been and will continueto be devoted to PTSD treatment. For example, large-scale dis-semination efforts have been executed throughout the VHA healthcare system to train clinicians in evidence-based treatment inter-ventions for PTSD (Karlin et al., 2010), such as cognitive process-ing therapy (CPT; Resick, Monson, & Chard, 2007; Resick,Nishith, Weaver, Astin, & Feuer, 2002; Resick & Schnicke, 1992)and prolonged exposure (PE; Foa et al., 1999; Foa, Rothbaum,Riggs, & Murdock, 1991), and to implement these interventions inexisting VHA treatment settings. A randomized, controlled trialhas provided promising evidence regarding the efficacy of CPTwith veteran populations. Monson et al. (2006) reported that CPTadministered in an individual, outpatient therapy setting was su-perior to a wait-list control in treating military-related PTSD inVHA patients.It is extremely important to evaluate the comparative effective-ness and sustainability of new treatments for PTSD implementedin VHA settings. The randomized, controlled trial discussed aboveprovided valuable efficacy data but does not address whetherevidence-based treatments for PTSD can be successfully inte-grated into existing program structures. Two recent open trialsdemonstrate the feasibility of delivering CPT in VHA settings.Chard, Schumm, Owens, and Cottingham (2010) examined CPTdelivered in individual, outpatient VHA clinic settings and sug-gested that the intervention was effective overall and that Iraq andAfghanistan veterans may report fewer symptoms of PTSD post-treatment compared to Vietnam veterans. In a small-scale exami-nation of CPT delivered in a group format in the context of aresidential PTSD program for female veterans, Zappert andWestrup (2008) reported that veterans significantly improved on ameasure of PTSD symptoms after treatment. However, neither of these studies included a comparison group, so they could notassess the comparative effectiveness of CPT relative to treatmentas usual (TAU).The implementation literature has emphasized that in addition toinitial staff training, elements such as ongoing technical support,feedback/refinement of the treatment package, and evaluation maybe important to implement effective health care interventions innew settings (Kilbourne, Neumann, Pincus, Bauer, & Stall, 2007).For example, one study indicated that on-going feedback, coach-ing, and/or supervision in addition to one-time training are anessential feature in achieving and retaining new psychotherapeuticskills (Miller, Yahne, Moyers, Martinez, & Pirritano, 2004). Astrength of the current implementation study is that it incorporateselements identified as important by the literature, such as a de-scription of refinements to the treatment package and expert con-sultation.This study evaluates implementation of CPT in a PTSD Resi-dential Rehabilitation Program in the VHA health care system. Theprimary aim was to determine whether CPT was more effectivethan the treatment that was being delivered prior to the implemen-tation effort. We employed a cohort design, comparing clinicaloutcomes for veterans treated with CPT groups to outcomes for aprior cohort of veterans treated in the same residential programwith trauma-focused groups conducted before the implementationof CPT. We hypothesized that the cohort treated with CPT wouldshow more improvement on clinical measures than the cohorttreated prior to the CPT implementation. The rationale for thishypothesis was derived from a review of previous research sug-gesting larger treatment effect sizes for CPT (Monson et al., 2006)compared to a similar type of trauma-focused group therapy as theTAU examined here (Schnurr et al., 2003). A secondary aim of thestudy was to determine how patient variables such as demograph-ics might be associated with variation in outcomes within the CPTcohort. To help assess whether CPT could be sustained effectively,another aim was to compare outcomes of patients treated in thefirst year of adoption, when clinicians were receiving regularexpert case consultation, and in subsequent years after intensiveconsultation ended. MethodDesign This study employed a retrospective, quasi-experimental, cohortdesign within a VHA residential treatment program for PTSD.Data were obtained from the clinical database of the residentialtreatment program as described below in the Procedure section.Clinical outcomes for a cohort of patients treated followingprogram-wide implementation of CPT (CPT cohort) were com-pared to a historical control group of patients treated in the sameprogram prior to the implementation of CPT (TAU cohort). Datawere compared at two time periods: intake and discharge from theprogram. The primary outcome measure was the self-reportedseverity of PTSD symptoms. Secondary outcome measures wereself-reported depression, psychological distress, quality of life, andcoping. To identify potential sources of bias, we compared cohortson demographics and baseline clinical characteristics. Any signif-icant differences in demographic or baseline characteristics werecontrolled for in all analyses of between-group differences.To determine the relative effectiveness of treatment during theCPT cohort, compared to during the TAU cohort, we comparedprimary and secondary outcome measures for each cohort at dis-charge, controlling for symptoms at intake and cohort differences.As a secondary analysis of relative treatment effectiveness, wecompared the proportions of patients with clinically significantimprovement on the primary outcome measure for both cohorts.To determine patient characteristics associated with treatment out-come in the CPT cohort, we examined the relationship betweendemographic variables and primary and secondary outcome mea- 591 COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF CPT FOR VETERANS  sures at discharge, controlling for intake symptoms. Implementa-tion factors were examined within the CPT cohort by assessing therelationship of regular therapist case consultation to primary andsecondary outcome measures. Setting This study examined implementation of CPT in a PTSD Resi-dential Rehabilitation Program in the VHA health care system,replacing TAU trauma-focused groups. This 60–90 day, residen-tial treatment program has existed since 1978 and provides treat-ment for men of all ages and eras of service with military-relatedPTSD and related problems. The program has a national catchmentarea, receiving referrals from VHA hospitals/clinics, VeteransCenters, and private practitioners around the country. Veterans arereferred to the residential program when a more intensive, resi-dential treatment environment is indicated. Often, this means thatPTSD symptoms have been treatment-refractory in outpatient set-tings, but referrals are also made directly from acute psychiatricinpatient or residential substance abuse settings or occasionallywhen time for treatment is limited by life circumstances (e.g.,individual has to return to work). Residents live in a therapeuticmilieu setting and participate in group interventions throughout theday and evening, including cognitive therapy, communicationskills, psychoeducation, process groups, parenting skills, and rec-reation therapy. A type of trauma-focused group therapy consistingof a life-span developmental model and incorporating some ele-ments of CBT had been provided in this program for approxi-mately 15 years but had never been empirically validated. In thefall of 2004, three clinical psychologists and one licensed clinicalsocial worker were trained by Patricia Resick, the developer of CPT. These providers had all worked in this VHA PTSD residen-tial treatment program for at least 5 years (three providers hadworked in this program for more than 11 years) and were trainedor familiar with cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques but notCPT specifically. These same four providers then began conduct-ing CPT in place of the previous type of trauma-focused grouptherapy. Over the course of the next year, providers in the programparticipated in weekly telephone case consultation with CPT ex-perts. Treatment providers were consistent across the entire studyperiod. Other than changes related to the implementation andintegration of CPT (described below), other changes to the resi-dential treatment program (e.g., other groups, staffing) were min-imal over the study period. In addition, the overall theoreticalorientation of the program was primarily cognitive-behavioral andremained constant over the entire study period. CPT/TAU groupswere the only form of trauma-focused treatment that patients inthis program received; none received individual therapy. Participants Outcome data for 104 male veterans treated with CPT groupsand 93 male veterans treated with TAU prior to the implementa-tion of CPT were examined for this study. Sample characteristicsare described in Table 1. Participants were two retrospectivecohorts of male veterans treated in the same residential treatmentprogram for PTSD in a VHA Medical Center 2 years before and 2years after CPT was disseminated and implemented in the program(September 2004). Inclusion criteria were as follows: (a) partici-pation in a trauma-focused group in this program during the studyperiod and (b) have previously provided informed consent thattheir data could be used for research purposes and, thus, partici-pated in routine data collection during their stay in the program.All participants who initiated treatment in a trauma-focused group(for either the CPT or TAU cohorts) were included in analyses,including those who terminated treatment early or were irregularlydischarged before completing a trauma-focused group. There wereno significant cohort differences in trauma group completion rate(CPT    89.4%, TAU    94.6%),   2 (1,  N     197)    1.779,  p   .182. Similarly, there were no significant demographic or baselineTable 1 Participant Characteristics VariableCPT ( n  104) TAU ( n  93) Total (  N   197) n  (%)  n  (%)  n  (%)Age in years,  M   SD  50.20  11.55 54.51  4.66 52.23  9.22Non-White race 39 (37.5) 41 (44.1) 80 (40.6)Married/partnered 49 (47.6) 46 (53.5) 95 (50.3)Education in years,  M   SD  12.98  2.51 12.68  2.52 12.84  2.51Income  $50,000 71 (87.7) 68 (78.2) 139 (82.7)Period of service  Vietnam 63 (64.3) 82 (94.3) 145 (78.4)Iraq/Afghanistan 15 (15.3) 0 (0.0) 15 (8.1)Other 20 (20.4) 5 (5.7) 25 (13.5)Branch of serviceArmy 55 (55.6) 55 (60.4) 110 (57.9)Navy 17 (17.2) 5 (5.5) 22 (11.6)Air Force 6 (6.1) 7 (7.7) 13 (6.8)Marines 21 (21.2) 24 (26.4) 45 (23.7)Disability compensation for PTSD  54 (51.9) 63 (67.7) 117 (59.4)Seeking compensation 41 (53.9) 58 (63.7) 99 (59.3)  Note.  Data are given as a number (valid percentage) of participants, except where indicated otherwise. CPT  cognitive processing therapy; TAU  treatment as usual; PTSD  posttraumatic stress disorder.  Indicates a significant difference between groups at the  p  .05 level. 592  ALVAREZ ET AL.  symptom differences between veterans who completed CPT orTAU groups and those who discharged before completing a traumagroup. The average length of stay was 86 days for both cohorts(CPT  85, TAU  88), with no significant difference by cohort.Due to rapid/unexpected discharge or procedural error in theclinical program, only 84.3% of patients who provided intake datacompleted a discharge assessment. Veterans who completed theirdischarge assessment were more likely to report more symptomson the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI; Beck, Steer, & Garbin,1988; Beck, Ward, Mendelsohn, Mock, & Erbaugh, 1961) atbaseline,  t  (197)    2.10,  p    .037, than veterans who did notcomplete their discharge assessment. There were no other signif-icant demographic or baseline symptom differences between vet-erans who completed a discharge assessment and those who didnot. A multiple imputation strategy was used to handle missingdata (described below). Measures Demographics.  Demographic variables were measured by aself-report demographic questionnaire that collected informationabout age, race/ethnicity, marital status, education, income, periodof military service, branch of military service, disability compen-sation, and whether the individual was seeking disability compen-sation. Primary outcome measure.  PTSD was assessed with thePCL (Weathers et al., 1993), a 17-item self-report inventory thatassesses  DSM–IV   Criteria B–D symptoms of PTSD. Items aboutproblems in response to “stressful military experiences” were ratedfrom 1 ( not at all ) to 5 ( extremely ) and summed to produce a totalscore and three subscales: reexperiencing (PCL-B), avoidance/ numbing (PCL-C), and hyperarousal (PCL-D). Higher scores in-dicated more PTSD symptoms (range  17–85 for the total score).A cutoff score of 50 for likely PTSD diagnosis was recommendedfor Vietnam veterans (Weathers et al., 1993) and for veterans withcombat trauma related PTSD (Forbes, Creamer, & Biddle, 2001).The PCL has very high internal consistency, with coefficients of .97 for the total scale and .92–.93 for each subscale, and test–retestreliability over 2–3 days of .96 for Vietnam veterans (Weathers etal., 1993). Cronbach’s alpha in the current sample was .90 for thetotal scale and .77–.89 for each subscale at intake, and .92 for thetotal scale and .82–.86 for each subscale at discharge. Secondary outcome measures.  Depression was assessedwith the 21-item self-report BDI (Beck et al., 1988, 1961). Itemswere scored on a scale from 0 to 3 and summed to produce a totalscore. Higher scores indicated more depressive symptoms(range    0–63). This measure has high internal consistency inpsychiatric and nonpsychiatric samples of .87 and good test–retestreliability of greater than .60 (Beck et al., 1988). Cronbach’s alphain the current sample was .88 at intake and .90 at discharge.Quality of life was measured with the World Health Organiza-tion Quality of Life–BREF (WHOQOL-BREF; Skevington, Lotfy,& O’Connell, 2004). It consists of 26 items; two items that providea baseline measure of quality of life and quality of health, as wellas four specific quality of life domains: physical health, psycho-logical, social relationship, and environment. For the purpose of this study, we examined the Physical, Psychological, and Socialsubscales. Items were rated on four types of 5-point Likert scales.Higher scores indicated a better quality of life (range  4–20 fortransformed scores). The WHOQOL-BREF has good internal con-sistency of greater than .70 (Skevington et al., 2004). At intake,Cronbach’s alpha in the current sample was .79 for the WHOQOL-Physical subscale, .73 for the WHOQOL-Psychological subscale,and .66 for the WHOQOL-Social subscale. At discharge, Cron-bach’s alpha was .76 for the WHOQOL-Physical subscale, .75 forthe WHOQOL-Psychological subscale, and .61 for the WHOQOL-Social subscale.Coping style was measured using the 28-item Brief COPE(Carver, 1997). Items were rated from 0 (  I haven’t been doing thisat all ) to 3 (  I’ve been doing this a lot  ), querying a variety of different coping methods. Two subscales were identified thoughfactor analysis: Direct coping (COPE-Positive) and Indirect coping(COPE-Avoidant) (Lee & Liu, 2001). Higher scores on the COPE-Positive subscale indicated more positive coping (range    10–40), and higher scores on the COPE-Avoidant subscale indicatedmore avoidant coping (range    6–24). At intake, Cronbach’salpha in the current sample was .77 for the COPE-Avoidantsubscale and .82 for the COPE-Positive subscale. At discharge,Cronbach’s alpha was .78 for the COPE-Avoidant subscale and .75for the COPE-Positive subscale.Psychological distress was measured with the six-item index of the Symptom Checklist (SCL-6; Rosen et al., 2000). This indexwas based on the SCL-90 (Derogatis, Lipman, & Covi, 1973),comprised of two questions each from the Depression, Anxiety,and Psychoticism subscales. Items were rated from 0 ( not at all ) to4 ( extremely ), with higher scores indicating more psychologicaldistress (range  6–30). The SCL-6 has good internal consistencyof .83 and had convergent validity with the SCL-90, correlating .87(Rosen et al., 2000). Cronbach’s alpha in the current sample was.87 at intake and .86 at discharge. Implementation Factors To assess whether CPT could be sustained effectively, a variablewas created to identify which patients in the CPT cohort weretreated during the first year of adoption, when program clinicianswere receiving ongoing expert case consultation. Outcomes onprimary and secondary outcome measures for these patients werethen compared to patients in the CPT cohort treated in subsequentyears when intensive case consultation ended. CPT providersremained the same in Years 1 and 2. Procedure This study conformed to ethical guidelines set forth by theAmerican Psychological Association and was approved by theStanford University Institutional Review Board. As part of normalclinical practice, a variety of self-report assessment measures of demographics, symptoms, and functioning were completed by allpatients upon intake and discharge from the residential program.These assessments were distributed and collected by an assessmentcoordinator, who was part of the clinical team but who was not atrauma-focused group therapist. All patients in the program alsoreviewed an informed consent document granting permission fortheir clinical records to be used for research purposes. For thepurposes of this study, clinical records were obtained for all menwho had consented to research and had been treated in the program 593 COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF CPT FOR VETERANS  during the 2 years before and the 2 years after the implementationof CPT in September 2004. Treatment CPT.  CPT (Resick, 2001), as delivered in this program, wasa 14-session, manualized, trauma-focused form of cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD that is based on cognitive theory of PTSD. Prior to beginning CPT, two initial sessions focused ongathering information about the veteran’s premilitary autobiogra-phy. The first CPT session involved brief psychoeducation aboutPTSD and CPT. The next two sessions focused on writing andreading about the meaning of the traumatic event and beliefs aboutwhy it happened, identifying problematic beliefs associated withthe trauma (“stuck points”), and learning to identify the connectionbetween events, thoughts, and feelings. The next several sessionsinvolved writing and reading a detailed account of the traumaticevent, with a focus on thoughts and feelings associated with thetrauma. During the next few sessions, veterans learned to questionand challenge their self-statements and assumptions and eventuallyto modify maladaptive beliefs related to the trauma. The last fivesessions involved challenging over- generalized beliefs about self and others in the following specific areas: safety, trust, power/ control, esteem, and intimacy. Treatment gains were discussed andconsolidated in the last session. CPT was delivered in a grouptherapy format, typically including four to five patients and twofacilitators. TAU.  TAU, as delivered in this program, was a 15-session,trauma-focused therapy, based on a life-span development model,incorporating elements of CBT. The treatment package was similarto that described in VHA Cooperative Study No. 420 (Foy, Ruzek,Glynn, Riney, & Gusman, 2002). The initial sessions involvedpsychoeducation about PTSD. The majority of the remaining ses-sions focused on reviewing the veteran’s autobiography in a de-velopmental context. Specifically, premilitary and military copingstyles were reviewed, and the impact of these on current function-ing was identified. The final sessions involved one session of therapist-guided, in-session exposure to the trauma memory perindividual. Groups typically included six to nine patients and twofacilitators. Therapist training.  In September of 2004, three doctoral-level psychologists and one licensed clinical social worker, whoworked on the residential program clinical team and previouslyprovided TAU, participated in an on-site, 2-day training in CPTled by the developer of the treatment, Patricia Resick. The treat-ment manual and all forms/handouts necessary for conducting thetreatment were distributed during the training. After participatingin the training, these clinicians began conducting CPT groups inplace of TAU groups. Weekly telephone case consultation withPatricia Resick and other CPT experts was conducted for approx-imately 1 year following the srcinal training. The training, con-sultation, and entire study period occurred before the publicationof the group CPT manual (Resick et al., 2007) and the nationalroll-out of CPT in VHA.Over the course of the year, several modifications were made tothe protocol and the written forms to accommodate the needs of the program and the patient population. The protocol was length-ened by approximately two sessions to accommodate group mem-bers reading their trauma accounts aloud in the group format. It isimportant to note that trauma accounts are typically not read aloudin group CPT. This specific modification was made to preserve theethic of the larger treatment program, which encourages peersupport and group disclosure. In consultation with CPT experts,some of the language in the srcinal manual and documents waschanged to better reflect the trauma experiences or preferences of the veterans (i.e., examples pertaining to combat rather than rape,“problematic” rather than “faulty” thinking patterns). In addition,some of the psychoeducation about PTSD and orientation to CBTwas removed, as veterans already learn this information in thetreatment program. A brief discussion of veterans’ premilitaryautobiography was added prior to beginning CPT to provide in-formation about experiences and beliefs that may be related topotential stuck points.Modifications were also made to the treatment program overallto facilitate the integration of CPT. For example, aspects of othertreatment groups were changed to make them more consistent withCPT (i.e., “5-column” Thought Records already used in the AffectManagement Group were changed to the ABC Sheets/ChallengingBeliefs Worksheets used in CPT). The daily schedule was alsomodified to build in more time for homework. An effort was madeby the clinical team to portray CPT group participation as onecomponent of the overall treatment program. Data Analyses Data were analyzed using SPSS for Windows, Version 17.0.Independent-samples  t   tests and chi-square tests were used toexamine potential cohort differences on demographic and baselinesymptom variables. Analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) control-ling for intake symptoms and cohort differences were used toexamine differences in changes from intake to discharge betweentreatment groups. Of note, period of military service was notincluded as an additional covariate in ANCOVAs because of thehigh degree of collinearity between age and period of service, r  s (183)  .69,  p  .001; this variable was not related to outcome.Also, information about therapy group membership was not avail-able for the TAU cohort, but the intraclass correlation coefficientfor therapy group membership in the CPT cohort was very low(  .001) for all measures except the SCL-6, which was low (.11).This suggests that the results of a mixed effect regression includingtherapy group would likely yield the same results as the ANCOVApresented.A two-step process was employed to evaluate clinically significantimprovement allowing us to classify individuals into four categories:recovered, improved, unchanged, or deteriorated. These categorieswere determined by (a) a combination of whether the level of func-tioning at discharge was sufficiently improved so that the individualwas no longer a member of the intake population (Jacobson, Follette,& Revenstorf, 1984) and (b) a reliable change index (Jacobson &Truax, 1991). Missing data.  Of the 197 patients with baseline PCL data,166 (84.3%) provided discharge PCL data. There is a rich litera-ture on inference in the presence of missing data, and particularlyin the context of missing follow-up data in longitudinal studies(Hedeker & Gibbons, 1997; Little, 1993; Rubin, 1976; Schafer,1997; Schafer & Graham, 2002). To address the missing follow-updata and potential attrition bias as recommended by this literature,a multiple imputation strategy was used and supplemented by 594  ALVAREZ ET AL.
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