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Impact of Supported Employment Versus Standard Vocational Rehabilitation in Veterans With Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified December 2013 by Lori Davis, MD, Tuscaloosa Research & Education Advancement Corporation.
Recruitment status was:  Active, not recruiting
United States Department of Defense
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Lori Davis, MD, Tuscaloosa Research & Education Advancement Corporation Identifier:
First received: July 15, 2008
Last updated: December 4, 2013
Last verified: December 2013
This prospective randomized study evaluates the impact of Supportive Employment (SE) compared to standard vocational rehabilitation (VRP) on occupational, sobriety, psychiatric, and quality of life outcomes and health care costs for veterans with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Condition Intervention
PTSD Behavioral: Supported Employment (SE) Behavioral: Standard Vocational Rehabilitation (VRP)

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Official Title: The Impact of Supported Employment Versus Standard Vocational Rehabilitation in Veterans With PTSD

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Lori Davis, MD, Tuscaloosa Research & Education Advancement Corporation:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Using an intent to treat analysis, subjects' maintained employed rate is measured using the Employment Index. [ Time Frame: 12 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Using an intent-to-treat analysis, the change from baseline to endpoint in PTSD symptoms is compared between groups using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). [ Time Frame: 12 months ]

Estimated Enrollment: 100
Study Start Date: May 2008
Estimated Study Completion Date: May 2014
Estimated Primary Completion Date: May 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: 1
Standard Vocational Rehabilitation (VRP)
Behavioral: Standard Vocational Rehabilitation (VRP)
Standard Vocational Rehabilitation (VRP) includes 1) the Vocational Assistance Program (includes routine prevocational testing and evaluation for all patients upon referral to VRP), 2) Vocational Rehabilitation Therapy that operates under the Compensated Work Therapy/Veterans Industries (CWT) and provides a work regimen with monetary incentives derived from contracts whereby participants are paid on a piece rate basis related to their production, and 3) Transitional Work Program (TWP) that includes a temporary work experience either within the VAMC or in community settings (called the Transitional Work External or TWE).
Other Name: Veterans in Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Experimental: 2
Supported Employment (SE)
Behavioral: Supported Employment (SE)
SE(IPS)involves: a vocational rehabilitation employment specialist who is integrated into the clinical treatment team, carries out all phases of the vocational services, provides predominantly community-based services, provides assertive engagement and outreach, has a case load of ≤ 25 clients; engages in rapid job search, individualized placement in diverse and potentially permanent competitive job(s), ongoing work-based vocational assessment, and assistance in finding subsequent jobs if needed with the view that all jobs are positive learning experiences; continuous time-unlimited follow-along supports to provide vocational services; and weekly group supervision with IPS/VRP team and with IPS supervisor/trainer monthly.
Other Name: Veterans in Vocational Rehabilitation Program

Detailed Description:

Hypotheses or Key Questions

I. Primary Hypothesis (obtained + maintained employment): Subjects assigned to IPS will have a higher maintained employed rate for the 12-mo observation period than their standard VRP counterparts.

  • I.a. First Component Primary Hypothesis (obtained employment): Subjects assigned to IPS will have higher rates of obtained employment for the 12-mo observation period than the VRP subjects.
  • I.b. Second Component Primary Hypothesis (maintained employment): Among those subjects employed, those assigned to IPS will have worked more weeks for the 12-mo observation period than the VRP subjects.

II. Secondary Hypothesis: Those subjects who obtain competitive employment will have significantly reduced symptoms of PTSD from baseline to endpoint compared to those subjects who do not obtain competitive employment.

III. Confirmatory and Correlational Hypotheses: Compared to VRP subjects, those subjects assigned to IPS will have:

  • greater work intensity (# weeks, days, # hours, wages earned)
  • higher total earnings
  • greater improvement in quality of life outcomes

Supplemental hypothesis (moderator): Because of the superior integration with the mental health (MH) treatment team, social work services, and community resources that the IPS-SE employment specialist provides as part of this model, we hypothesize that the IPS-SE model will have greater success in the maintenance of competitive employment compared to standard VRP for veterans with PTSD challenged in one or more of these psychosocial domains. From a research perspective, a variable that characterizes subjects for whom a particular treatment will be effective is called a moderator of treatment.

The hypothesized moderators of IPS-SE and standard VRP for subjects with PTSD are: 1) Transportation, 2) Housing, 3) Financial Means, and 4) Family Care Burden. We hypothesize that these variables will have moderating effects for each of two outcomes: 1) number of weeks the participant is competitively employed during the 12-month study period and 2) their score on the Sheehan Disability Scale.

Several principles are important in defining a moderator. First, the moderator must precede treatment. In our RCT, these psychosocial domains are baseline characteristics of subjects enrolled in the study. Second, the moderator must be uncorrelated with treatment choice. This will be the case in this RCT due to a 1:1 randomization, which should balance baseline characteristics between the two groups. Third, a moderator of treatment must have a differential effect of treatment for each level of the moderator. The treatment effect (e.g., active vs. comparator) must be shown to be greater for one level of the moderator (i.e. IPS-SE will show a greater effect size than standard VRP in subjects with a moderator present). Also, an index that combines these domains will be explored and formulated to identify subjects that may benefit to greater extent from IPS-SE.


Ages Eligible for Study:   19 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • signed informed consent
  • diagnosis of PTSD (based on MINI)
  • male or female
  • any race or ethnicity
  • age 19-60
  • currently unemployed
  • interested in competitive employment
  • planning to remain in a 100-mile radius of participating VAMC for the 12- mo duration

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Lifetime history of severe traumatic brain injury that has resulted in severe cognitive disorder
  • diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar I disorder
  • dementia (a standard exclusion from VRP)
  • immediate need of detoxification from alcohol or drugs (a standard VRP exclusion)
  • pending active legal charges or expected incarceration
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00728325

United States, Alabama
Birmingham VA Medical Center
Birmingham, Alabama, United States, 35233
Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States, 35404
United States, Massachusetts
Bedford VA Medical Center
Bedford, Massachusetts, United States, 01730
Sponsors and Collaborators
Tuscaloosa Research & Education Advancement Corporation
United States Department of Defense
Principal Investigator: Lori L. Davis, M.D. Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: Lori Davis, MD, ACOS Research and Development, Tuscaloosa Research & Education Advancement Corporation Identifier: NCT00728325     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: PT074312
VA IRB ID: 00123
Study First Received: July 15, 2008
Last Updated: December 4, 2013

Keywords provided by Lori Davis, MD, Tuscaloosa Research & Education Advancement Corporation:
Vocational Rehabilitation
Supported Employment processed this record on August 17, 2017