Preserving Function Among Disability Applicants

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
VA Office of Research and Development Identifier:
First received: September 16, 2007
Last updated: June 30, 2009
Last verified: June 2009
To test the hypothesis that veterans counseled around managing their benefits will work more and have a better quality of life than those receiving non-specific counseling.

Condition Intervention Phase
Behavioral: Benefits Counseling
Behavioral: VA Orientation
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Preserving Function Among Disability Applicants: A Motivational Enhancement Approach to Benefits Counseling

Further study details as provided by VA Office of Research and Development:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Days engaged in work and work-related activities [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • substance use (as measured by days having used illicit drugs, alcohol to intoxication in the preceding days) [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • treatment utilization (days in last 30 having participated in rehabilitation and work-related activities, number of days having participated in non-inpatient substance abuse treatment, number of days on any inpatient unit) [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 120
Study Start Date: February 2007
Study Completion Date: June 2009
Primary Completion Date: June 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Benefits Counseling
Behavioral: Benefits Counseling
Help deciding whether to work
Active Comparator: 2
VA Orientation
Behavioral: VA Orientation
Orientation to services available at VA

Detailed Description:

The aim is to develop and test the efficacy of Benefits Counseling to improve quality of life among veterans who apply for VA benefits. Benefits Counseling involves providing claimants information about rehabilitation and work-related activities, benefits determination and management, and available substance abuse treatment . Benefits Counseling is designed to increase motivation to be active and promote engagement in substance abuse treatment. After enrolling 15 participants in an open-label pilot phase, 300 veterans who are not receiving benefits and are applying to VBA for disability benefits will be randomly assigned to Benefits Counseling or the control condition, VA Orientation, and both groups will be followed for one year.

The primary outcome measures will be observer-rated and self-rated quality of life. Secondary outcome measures will include substance use and treatment utilization.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Applying for VA service connection and not currently receiving VBA benefits.
  2. Veterans who have been rated 0% service-connected but do not receive financial benefits are eligible to participate.
  3. Able to provide valid consent
  4. Age 18-65
  5. Expresses willingness to discuss benefits with a counselor
  6. Anticipates difficulty working

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Already receiving VA payments
  2. Already receiving SSI or SSDI
  3. Has a conservator
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00530985

United States, Connecticut
VA Connecticut Health Care System (West Haven)
West Haven, Connecticut, United States, 06516
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
Principal Investigator: Marc I. Rosen, MD VA Connecticut Health Care System (West Haven)
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Rosen, Marc - Principal Investigator, Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier: NCT00530985     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MR0024, MIRECC
Study First Received: September 16, 2007
Last Updated: June 30, 2009
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development:
substance abuse
vocational rehabilitation
case management processed this record on November 25, 2015