An Intensive Outpatient Program for Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury

Margaret M. Harvey, Timothy J. Petersen, Julia C. Sager, Nita J. Makhija-Graham, Edward C. Wright, Erika L. Clark, Lauren M. Laifer, Lauren K. Richards, Louis K. Chow, Louisa G. Sylvia, René M. Lento, Laura K. Harward, Joan Clowes, Valerie Brathwaite, Laura K. Lakin, Noah D. Silverberg, Grant L. Iverson, Eric Bui, Naomi M. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Post-9/11 service members may return from military service with a complicated set of symptoms and conditions, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, substance misuse, and traumatic brain injury (TBI), that interfere with reintegration and impair functioning. Although evidence-based treatments that facilitate recovery exist, their successful delivery at a sufficient dose is limited. Barriers to accessing treatment combined with challenges compiling a comprehensive treatment team further delay delivery of effective evidence-based care for PTSD, TBI, and co-occurring mental health conditions. This paper describes the development of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, 2-week intensive day program for post-9/11 veterans with complex mental health concerns. The treatment program combines skill building groups, family education, and integrative health approaches with evidence-based individual PTSD or TBI care. Initial results from the first 132 participants were notable for a 97% completion rate, as well as statistically significant and clinically meaningful reductions in PTSD, neurobehavioral, and depression symptom severity for the 107 veterans who completed the PTSD track and the 21 who completed the TBI track. These data suggest the intensive program approach is an effective, well-tolerated model of treatment for post-9/11 veterans with PTSD and/or TBI. Future controlled studies should examine the effectiveness of this intensive model compared to standard evidence-based therapy delivery, as well as longitudinal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-334
Number of pages12
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2019


  • intensive treatment
  • posttraumatic stress
  • service member
  • traumatic brain injury
  • veteran

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'An Intensive Outpatient Program for Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this