A non-inferiority trial of Prolonged Exposure for posttraumatic stress disorder: In person versus home-based telehealth

Behav Res Ther. 2017 Feb;89:57-65. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2016.11.009. Epub 2016 Nov 22.


This is the first randomized controlled trial to evaluate non-inferiority of Prolonged Exposure (PE) delivered via home-based telehealth (HBT) compared to standard in-person (IP) PE. One-hundred thirty two Veterans recruited from a Southeastern Veterans Affairs Medical Center and affiliated University who met criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were randomized to receive PE via HBT or PE via IP. Results indicated that PE-HBT was non-inferior to PE-IP in terms of reducing PTSD scores at post-treatment, 3 and 6 month follow-up. However, non-inferiority hypotheses for depression were only supported at 6 month follow-up. HBT has great potential to reduce patient burden associated with receiving treatment in terms of travel time, travel cost, lost work, and stigma without sacrificing efficacy. These findings indicate that telehealth treatment delivered directly into patients' homes may dramatically increase the reach of this evidence-based therapy for PTSD without diminishing effectiveness.

Keywords: Non-inferiority; PTSD; Prolonged exposure; RCT; Telehealth.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Implosive Therapy / methods
  • Male
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Telemedicine*
  • Young Adult