Conquer Panic: a Case Study on Integrating Technology into a Compressed Panic Disorder Treatment for Rural Veterans
In recent years, much of the innovation in patient care at the Veterans Health Administration has focused on improving access to behavioral health treatments. One innovation that can address barriers faced by veterans, especially those living in rural areas, is the use of digital tools such as smartphone applications (apps). This study is a pilot of a newly developed app, entitled Conquer Panic, which is integrated with intensive panic control treatment, a compressed group treatment for panic disorder. Two Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans used the Conquer Panic app as an integrated component of their treatment. Descriptive information obtained from the veterans’ treatment records is presented along with a summary of the veterans’ panic symptoms from pretreatment to 6 months following treatment. In addition, structured feedback given by the veterans concerning the treatment package, as a whole, and the Conquer Panic app are provided. Overall, both veterans indicated favorable opinions of the treatment package and the Conquer Panic app. Benefits of the Conquer Panic app included carry-over of primary treatment components beyond the provider-delivered phase of treatment, accessibility of information before and during actual panic attacks, and ease of use. Also, both veterans demonstrated marked reductions in panic symptom severity following the integrated treatment. Implications of these treatment innovations are discussed along with recommendations and future directions for combining novel service-delivery methods.
KeywordsMental health technology Clinical apps Panic disorder OEF/OIF veterans mHealth Rural service delivery
Special thanks to Cynthia Phelps, Ph.D. and HEALTHeDesigns, LLC for their work in developing the Conquer Panic app.
This research was supported by grant funding from the South Central Mental Illness, Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC). This material is also based upon work supported in part by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the VA HSR&D Houston Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (CIN13-413).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views, position, or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the South Central MIRECC, Baylor College of Medicine or the US government.
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