Window to Hope: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Psychological Intervention for the Treatment of Hopelessness Among Veterans With Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the efficacy of a psychological intervention to reduce moderate to severe hopelessness among Veterans with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Design:

Two-arm parallel group, controlled, randomized crossover trial, with 3-month follow-up for those initially allocated to treatment. Participants were randomly allocated in blocks of 4 on a 1:1 ratio to treatment (n = 15) or waitlist (n = 20) groups.

Setting:

A Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Participants:

Veterans between the ages of 26 and 65 years, with a history of moderate to severe TBI, and moderate to severe hopelessness.

Interventions:

A 20-hour manualized small group cognitive-behavioral intervention.

Main Outcome Measures:

Beck Hopelessness Scale (primary), Beck Depression Inventory, and Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation.

Results:

A significant difference between groups was found for postintervention scores on the Beck Hopelessness Scale (P = .03). Significant decreases were maintained at follow-up. For those initially allocated to the waitlist group who completed the intervention, treatment gains were noted in decreased hopelessness (P = .01) and depression (P = .003).

Conclusions:

Findings from this trial provide additional support for the efficacy of this method of psychological treatment of hopelessness among individuals with moderate to severe TBI.

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