Computer-Guided Problem-Solving Treatment for Depression, PTSD, and Insomnia Symptoms in Student Veterans: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Lee A. Bedford, Jessica R. Dietch, Daniel J. Taylor, Adriel Boals, Claudia Zayfert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Depression is a highly prevalent psychological disorder experienced disproportionately by college student military veterans with many deleterious effects including risk for suicide. Treatment can help, but the debilitating nature of depression often makes seeking in-person treatment difficult and many are deterred by stigma, inconvenience, concerns about privacy, or a preference to manage problems themselves. The current study examines the efficacy of a computer-guided Problem-Solving Treatment (ePST®) for reducing symptoms of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and insomnia in student military veterans. Twenty-four student veterans (Meanage = 32.7) with symptoms of depression were randomly assigned either to a treatment group receiving six weekly sessions of ePST or to a minimal contact control group (MCC). Participants completed the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) depression scale at baseline and then weekly through post-ePST or post-MCC. PTSD and insomnia questionnaires were also completed at baseline and posttreatment. A linear mixed model regression showed a statistically significant Group (ePST vs. MCC) × Time (pretreatment through posttreatment) interaction for depression, with the ePST showing substantial improvements in depressive symptoms over the 6-week period. Significant improvements were also seen in PTSD and insomnia symptoms. Results suggest that ePST can effectively treat depression, PTSD, and insomnia symptoms in student military veterans and may be a viable alternative for those who are not able to access live therapy. Future work should examine the durability of treatment effects and utility for more severe depression and suicide prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-767
Number of pages12
JournalBehavior Therapy
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • depression
  • insomnia
  • military
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • problem-solving therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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