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Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Jan;33(1):237-46. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2011.10.001. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Randomized controlled trial of an internet-based intervention using random-digit-dial recruitment: the Disaster Recovery Web project.

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National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, 67 President St., MSC861, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


Disasters occur with high frequency throughout the world and increase risk for development of mental health problems in affected populations. Research focused on the development and evaluation of secondary prevention interventions addressing post-disaster mental health has high potential public-health impact. Toward this end, internet-based interventions (IBIs) are particularly attractive in that they: (1) offer a low-cost means of delivering standardized, targeted, personalized intervention content to a broad audience; and (2) are easily integrated within a stepped care approach to screening and service delivery. We describe a unique study design intended to evaluate an IBI with a disaster-affected population-based sample. Description and rationale are provided for sampling selection and procedures, selection of assessment measures and methods, design of the intervention, and statistical evaluation of critical outcomes. Unique features of this intervention include the use of a population-based sample, telephone and internet-based assessments, and development of a highly individualized web-based intervention. Challenges related to the development and large-scale evaluation of IBIs targeting post-disaster mental health problems, as well as implications for future research and practice are discussed.

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