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Measuring Use of Evidence Based Psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Abstract

To improve methods of estimating use of evidence-based psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder in the Veteran’s health administration, we evaluated administrative data and note text for patients newly enrolling in six VHA outpatient PTSD clinics in New England during the 2010 fiscal year (n = 1,924). Using natural language processing, we developed machine learning algorithms that mimic human raters in classifying note text. We met our targets for algorithm performance as measured by precision, recall, and F-measure. We found that 6.3 % of our study population received at least one session of evidence-based psychotherapy during the initial 6 months of treatment. Evidence-based psychotherapies appear to be infrequently utilized in VHA outpatient PTSD clinics in New England. Our method could support efforts to improve use of these treatments.

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Acknowledgments

Dr. Shiner’s time is supported by a VA-New England Early Career Development Award (V1CDA2010-03). The ARC was developed with support from the VA Consortium for Health Informatics Research (HIR09-007) and VA Cooperative Studies Program to Dr. D’Avolio and applied to this project with support from the VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (RRP11-432) to Dr. Watts. The VA-New England Veterans Engineering Resource Center provided support for administrative data acquisition and the VA National Center for PTSD provided research assistant support.

Ethical Standard

This work was approved by the White River Junction VA Medical Center Research and Development Committee and was granted a waiver of informed consent by the Dartmouth Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS 22440).

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this manuscript do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government. Dr. Shiner had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the results.

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Shiner, B., D’Avolio, L.W., Nguyen, T.M. et al. Measuring Use of Evidence Based Psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Adm Policy Ment Health 40, 311–318 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-012-0421-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-012-0421-0

Keywords

  • Psychotherapy
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Natural language processing
  • Health services utilization