Clinician Documentation on Receipt of Trauma-Focused Evidence-Based Psychotherapies in a VA PTSD Clinic

Mary W. Lu, Jane M. Plagge, Mary C. Marsiglio, Steven K. Dobscha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is implementing two trauma-focused, evidence-based psychotherapies (TF-EBPs) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy (PE). Veterans with PTSD often do not receive these treatments, and little is known about the reasons veterans may not receive TF-EBPs. The aim of this qualitative study was to summarize clinician-reported reasons in medical records for nonreceipt of TF-EBPs. All veterans (N = 63) identified through PTSD screening who were newly engaged in mental health care and received individual evaluations in a PTSD specialty clinic in fiscal year 2008 were included in the sample. Content analysis of electronic medical records revealed multiple potential reasons for nonreceipt of TF-EBPs including referral to other PTSD treatments, other clinical priorities, poor engagement in care, practical barriers, negative beliefs, and receipt of care in other settings. Eight veterans (13%) initiated TF-EBPs. Further interventions to promote engagement in PTSD treatment are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-87
Number of pages17
JournalThe journal of behavioral health services & research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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