PTSD therapy delivered through videoconferencing proved effective in one of the largest trials yet of the approach. Seen on the screen is study coordinator Janel Fidler of the VA San Diego Health Care System. (Photo by Christopher Menzie)

PTSD therapy delivered through videoconferencing proved effective in one of the largest trials yet of the approach. Seen on the screen is study coordinator Janel Fidler of the VA San Diego Health Care System. (Photo by Christopher Menzie)

Researchers at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System who compared conventional in-person psychotherapy to therapy delivered through videoconferencing found that the video method worked just as well for treating posttraumatic stress disorder in Veterans.
The research team reported their results at the annual meeting of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, held in April.
The study included 207 Veterans. It was one of the largest yet in VA to test new ways of delivering evidence-based psychotherapy for those with PTSD. Telemedicine approaches such as videoconferencing are critical for Veterans who live in rural areas far from VA medical centers.
“These new ways of delivering therapy are also important for Veterans with PTSD who do not feel comfortable driving, or who may feel uncomfortable in hospitals or other crowded places,” added lead researcher Steven Thorp, PhD, a psychologist with VA and associate professor with the University of California, San Diego.
Thorp said the video equipment used is similar in some ways to consumer products such as Skype and FaceTime, but has better audio and video quality. He added that the transmissions are “encrypted to a higher standard so that even if they were intercepted, the data could not be interpreted. We use a very high standard to ensure that confidentiality is protected when we use this equipment…”

Read More…