VA Residential Treatment Providers’ Use of Two Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for PTSD: Global Endorsement Versus Specific Components

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Objective: Despite a growing body of knowledge about the dissemination of evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs), their actual use in clinical settings is not well understood. The purpose of the current study was to compare self-reported component use with global use for 2 EBPs for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prolonged exposure (PE), and cognitive processing therapy (CPT). Method: Around 174 providers from 38 VA PTSD residential treatment programs were asked about both global use and component use of PE and CPT. Results: Among frequent users of these EBPs, component use was generally high, especially for low-intensity and nonspecific components. For each form of treatment, there were a small number of providers who reported using the treatment frequently but did not use most of the key components of the treatment. Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of understanding the modifications that providers make to EBPs and suggest the importance of flexibility within fidelity to these treatments.

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