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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2016 Jan;84(1):31-42. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000041. Epub 2015 Aug 31.

Vets prevail online intervention reduces PTSD and depression in veterans with mild-to-moderate symptoms.

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Rush University Medical Center.
Prevail Health Solutions.



Despite heightened rates of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among in Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, the majority of distressed veterans will not receive mental health care. Overcoming barriers to mental health services requires innovative approaches to broaden the reach of evidence-based treatment. The current study examined the efficacy and acceptability of an innovative and dynamic online cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention for PTSD and depression called Vets Prevail.


A randomized clinical trial conducted between 2011 and 2013 assessed changes in PTSD and depression in veterans with mild-to-moderate distress. Veterans randomized to Vets Prevail (n = 209) were aged 34.2 ± 7.6 years, mostly male (81.3%), and nonminority (73.7%). Veterans randomized to adjustment as usual (n = 94) were aged 34.7 ± 8.9, mostly male (81.9%), and White (67.0%). Veterans completed the PTSD Checklist-Military Version and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (10-item version) postintervention and at 12-week follow-up.


Veterans in the Vets Prevail condition reported significantly greater reductions in PTSD, t(250) = 3.24, p = .001 (Mreduction = 5.51, SD = 9.63), and depression, t(252) = 4.37, p = .001 (Mreduction = 2.31, SD = 5.34), at 12-week follow-up compared with veterans in the adjustment as usual condition (PTSD Mreduction = 1.00, SD = 7.32; depression Mreduction = 0.48, SD = 4.95), with moderate effect sizes for PTSD (Cohen's d = 0.42) and depression (Cohen's d = 0.56). Exploratory analysis shows that Vets Prevail may be effective regardless of combat trauma exposure, gender, and ethnic minority status.


Vets Prevail circumvents many barriers to care and effectively addresses the dire mental health needs of veterans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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