A randomized trial of telepsychiatry for post-traumatic stress disorder

J Telemed Telecare. 2007;13(3):142-7. doi: 10.1258/135763307780677604.


We compared the efficacy of telepsychiatry and same-room treatment of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using cognitive behavioural therapy in 14 weekly, 90-min treatment sessions. Of 97 patients referred for study participation, 38 were randomized (17 into telepsychiatry, 21 into same-room), and approximately 25 (the number differed by instrument) had at least one post-baseline assessment. Measures of clinical and process outcomes were examined. No group differences were found on clinical outcomes at three-month follow-up. Satisfaction with treatment ratings was similar in both groups, with 'strong satisfaction' indicated by veterans in both modalities. Attendance and drop-out were similar in the two groups. The same-room group reported more comfort in talking with their therapist at post-treatment and had better treatment adherence. The results provide preliminary support for the use of telepsychiatry in the treatment of PTSD to improve access to care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / standards
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemedicine / statistics & numerical data
  • Veterans / psychology