Advertisement

Conquer Panic: a Case Study on Integrating Technology into a Compressed Panic Disorder Treatment for Rural Veterans

  • James D. Broussard
  • Emily L. Hiatt
  • Ellen J. TengEmail author
Brief Report

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Mental health technology Clinical apps Panic disorder OEF/OIF veterans mHealth Rural service delivery 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Cynthia Phelps, Ph.D. and HEALTHeDesigns, LLC for their work in developing the Conquer Panic app.

Funding

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

Disclaimer

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.

References

  1. Barlow, D. H., & Craske, M. G. (2000). Mastery of your anxiety and panic (3rd ed.). San Antonio: Graywind Publications Inc/The Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  2. Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13, 319–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Erbes, C. R., Stinson, R., Kuhn, E., Polusny, M., Urban, J., Hoffman, J., et al. (2014). Access, utilization, and interest in mHealth applications among veterans receiving outpatient care for PTSD. Military Medicine, 179(11), 1218–1222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Furukawa, T. A., Katherine Shear, M., Barlow, D. H., Gorman, J. M., Woods, S. W., Money, R., Etschel, E., Engel, R. R., & Leucht, S. (2009). Evidence-based guidelines for interpretation of the panic disorder severity scale. Depression and Anxiety, 26(10), 922–929.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Heron, K. E., & Smyth, J. M. (2010). Ecological momentary interventions: incorporating mobile technology into psychosocial and health behaviour treatments. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15(1), 1–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Newman, M. G., Szkodny, L. E., Llera, S. J., & Przeworski, A. (2011). A review of technology-assisted self-help and minimal contact therapies for anxiety and depression: is human contact necessary for therapeutic efficacy? Clinical Psychology Review, 31(1), 89–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Price, M., Yuen, E. K., Goetter, E. M., Herbert, J. D., Forman, E. M., Acierno, R., & Ruggiero, K. J. (2014). mHealth: a mechanism to deliver more accessible, more effective mental health care. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 21(5), 427–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Riding-Malon, R., & Werth Jr., J. L. (2014). Psychological practice in rural settings: At the cutting edge. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 45(2), 85–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Shear, M. K., Brown, T. A., Sholomskas, D. E., Barlow, D. H., Gorman, J. M., Woods, S. W., & Cloitre, M. (1992). Panic disorder severity scale (PDSS). Pittsburgh: Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.Google Scholar
  10. Stecker, T., Fortney, J., Hamilton, F., Sherbourne, C. D., & Ajzen, I. (2010). Engagement in mental health treatment among veterans returning from Iraq. Patient preference and adherence, 4, 45–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Teng, E. J., Barrera, T. L., Hiatt, E. L., Chaison, A. D., Dunn, N. J., Petersen, N. J., & Stanley, M. A. (2015). Intensive weekend group treatment for panic disorder and its impact on co-occurring PTSD: a pilot study. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 33, 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. (2017). Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/P) by State and County. Retrieved March 8, 2018, from https://datawarehouse.hrsa.gov/.
  13. Weingardt, K. R., & Greene, C. J. (2015). New electronic tools for veterans. North Carolina Medical Journal, 76(5), 332–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James D. Broussard
    • 1
  • Emily L. Hiatt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ellen J. Teng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  3. 3.South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical CenterHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Houston VA HSR&D Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (CIN13-413)HoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations