Summary

healthy people welcome
at UCSF
study started
estimated completion
Karen Seal(ucsf)

Description

Summary

The overall goal of this project is improve access to and engagement in quality care for military service personnel and Veterans suffering with posttraumatic stress (PTS). Veterans often present to their primary care providers with symptoms of PTS and related physical problems; however, most primary care providers have not been trained to care for Veterans with PTS or communicate with them in ways that motivate them to engage in care. In this study instigators propose to design, test and prepare to implement a Virtual World PTS and Motivational Interviewing training for primary care providers by taking the following steps: (1) partner with stakeholders to iteratively design the training which takes full advantage of the affordances of Virtual World technology to enhance training interactivity, effectiveness, and durability, (2) perform a randomized control trial to compare the virtual world training with an online training, and (3) summarize the findings and prepare for implementation and dissemination of the new training by soliciting feedback from primary care providers who participated in the training and from original project stakeholders.

Official Title

Improving Access to Care for Warfighters: Virtual Worlds Technology to Enhance Primary Care Training in Posttraumatic Stress and Motivational Interviewing

Details

The overall goal of this project is improve access to and engagement in quality care for military service personnel and Veterans suffering with posttraumatic stress (PTS). Veterans who have PTS symptoms after military service are often resistant to referrals to mental health care because of the warrior culture of stoicism coupled with the stigma of seeking mental health care. Also, Veterans living in rural or remote areas may not have access to trained mental health professionals. Thus, Veterans often present to their primary care providers with symptoms of PTS and related physical problems. Unfortunately, most primary care providers have not been trained to care for Veterans with PTS or communicate with them in ways that motivate them to engage in care. This can result in missed opportunities to intervene to prevent what may become chronic mental and physical health problems in the future, which affect not only the warfighter, but also their families, partners and children.

In a prior project funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), study investigators created and tested a web-based training program to teach primary care providers about how to assess for and manage PTS which proved successful in a small pilot study. Nevertheless, primary care providers who participated in the training reported that the training was not interactive and engaging enough and about 30% did not complete it. Moreover, the pilot study did not use gold standard methods to measure study outcomes and because project stakeholders, namely the Veterans Administration (VA) and the DoD, did not participate in the development of the training, investigators were not able to easily implement and disseminate it to primary care clinicians who work in these healthcare systems.

Virtual World technology is a three-dimensional immersive and highly interactive online experience in which users enter virtual environments as self-styled representations of themselves, known as avatars. Virtual Worlds are used in some of the most popular and engaging commercially-available video games. Virtual World technology is also increasingly being used for educational activities, particularly in learning about mental health problems and communication techniques. This is because experiences like mental health symptoms such as re-experiencing or intrusive thoughts (flashbacks) can be simulated, and participants (as avatars) can practice and receive feedback on new communication skills without feeling self-conscious. Learners can also practice motivational interviewing techniques such as using a stylized virtual scale to literally weigh the pros and cons (represented as blocks) of a particular behavior change. These interactive activities afforded by Virtual World technology can be used to make the learning experience far more memorable and enduring.

In this study, investigators propose to design, test and prepare to implement a Virtual World PTS and Motivational Interviewing training by taking the following steps: (1) partner with stakeholders to iteratively design the training so that is responsive to stakeholder needs and takes full advantage of the affordances of Virtual World technology to enhance training interactivity, effectiveness, and durability, (2) add a more robust evaluation component, including a randomized control trial with stronger provider and patient outcomes to achieve more valid results, and (3) summarize findings and prepare for implementation and dissemination of the new training by soliciting feedback from primary care providers who participated in the training and from original project stakeholders.

Keywords

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD Motivational Interviewing veterans military virtual world virtual reality education training primary care mental health Stress Disorders, Traumatic Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic Virtual World Training Web-based Video Training

Eligibility

You can join if…

  • Primary Care Providers (PCPs) currently practicing adult medicine (including licensed internists, family practitioners, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, allied health professionals and trainees working in Primary Care setting)
  • English-speaking

You CAN'T join if...

  • Lack of sufficient time to participate in all required training sessions, homework and evaluations.
  • Lack of a computer capable of running the Virtual World software
  • Retired or retiring during the study period
  • Vision or hearing impaired or other disability precluding the use of a computer or telephone*
  • While this is an exclusionary criterion for this trial, prior to broader dissemination, at the conclusion of the study, we will make accommodations in the Virtual World training to make it Section 508-compliant for persons with disabilities.

Location

  • San Francisco VA Health Care System accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94121 United States

Lead Scientist

  • Karen Seal (ucsf)
    Dr. Karen Seal is a Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is based at the San Francisco VA Health Care System (SFVAHCS) where she is the Director of the Integrated Care Clinic for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and Director of the Integrated Pain Team (IPT) Clinic.

Details

Status
accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
(estimated)
Sponsor
San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Links
Veterans Return Home
ID
NCT03898271
Study Type
Interventional
Last Updated