Enhancing Social Support May Improve Cognitive Processing Therapy Outcomes in Telemedicine for PTSD
Telehealth-based delivery of gold-standard posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT; Resick et al., 2017) has been shown to be no less effective than in-person delivery of care (Morland et al., 2014, 2015). Yet providers may be curious about what might improve outcomes. Malleable characteristics, such as the amount of social support an individual perceives they have, are of special interest. Although some research has shown social support can encourage greater reductions in PTSD symptoms (Price et al., 2018), individuals living in rural areas might have important differences. Therefore, we set out to evaluate whether pre-existing perceived social support could enhance the effects of CPT for rural American military veterans participating in a pragmatic randomized effectiveness trial of telehealth-based collaborative care for PTSD (Fortney et al., 2015).