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Efficacy Trial of Stress Check-Up

Efficacy Trial of Stress Check-Up

The health and well being of military personnel, and consequently the capacity for optimal functioning of military units, are compromised by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is associated with high personal and societal costs. Post-deployment rates of PTSD range from 5-20%; approximately 8% of combat exposed military personnel develop new onsets of PTSD. PTSD is frequently comorbid with other psychiatric disorders. Untreated PTSD is associated with high rates of suicide, medical services utilization, relationship impairment, legal difficulties, decreased worker productivity, and decreased military readiness.

While PTSD treatment can be effective, individuals with PTSD may not seek treatment. Drop out and medication noncompliance are common. Moreover, military personnel encounter both real and perceived barriers to seeking treatment. Given the availability of effective treatments contrasted with the low rates of military personnel who present and complete treatment, figuring out how to connect individuals with PTSD symptoms into treatment and then helping them to stay engaged is a high priority. Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) has shown promise in promoting treatment entry and enhancing both retention and successful outcomes. A brief, telephone-delivered MET called a “check-up,” has shown promise in promoting self-initiated behavior change as well as voluntary treatment entry, enhanced retention, and more successful outcomes for substance abuse. Despite these promising findings, no work has focused on adapting MET for enhancing self-referral and treatment seeking with individuals with PTSD who are active duty and who are not already in treatment. Active duty military face additional challenges to entering treatment than veterans and thus specific research is necessary to evaluate whether similar programs would be efficacious for active duty personnel.

Adapting the “check-up” application with military personnel is warranted for three key reasons:

  1. It has the potential of overcoming barriers to treatment-seeking, i.e., stigma and apprehension of a negative impact on one’s military career
  2. It has the potential of attracting voluntary participation
  3. Protocols for disseminating this low cost intervention for use with deployed military can readily be developed and evaluated

Participant Eligibility

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Biological Sex: All

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Current PTSD
  • Currently serving in the Army or Air Force at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Currently being treated (counseling and/or medication) for PTSD
  • Non-fluency in English
  • Evidence of psychosis
  • Pending deployment that would preclude completion of follow-ups


Hannah Bergman, PhD
(866) 866-0137

Additional Study Details

Full Study Title
Improving Voluntary Engagement for PTSD Treatment Among Service Members

Study ID: STUDY00002794
Start Date: 09/27/2017
End Date: 08/08/2020

Co-Principal Investigator: Denise Walker, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator: Debra Kaysen, PhD

Accepts Healthy Volunteers?

Study Site(s)

University of Washington

909 NE 43rd Street Suite 304
Seattle, Washington 98105


Use the link below to send a message to the study coordinator, or call the number above to speak directly with a study representative.

I am interested in this research study.