Sarah Campbell, PhD, a VA Puget Sound Health Services Research & Development Post-Doctoral Fellow, recently received a VA Career Development Award from VA’s office of Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) to evaluate and refine a social support-enhancement intervention, and establish a protocol for routinely measuring social support to inform treatment, for Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a significant problem for Veterans, most of whom are initially treated for PTSD in PCMHI. Poor social support in this population is a risk factor for suicidal ideation, all-cause mortality, and worse treatment engagement and response. However, none of the existing PCMHI-based treatments for PTSD explicitly focus on social support generation or reengagement.
Dr. Campbell will work with Tracy Simpson, PhD, and John Fortney, PhD, as co-primary mentors on this project. Results will provide clinicians with clear direction in how to standardize their assessment of social support so it is less likely to be overlooked and more likely to be informative for treatment decisions. Additionally, study results will provide the preliminary version of an intervention designed to be delivered in Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI) settings that specifically targets social support improvement in a vulnerable population.