Design of the Violence and Stress Assessment (ViStA) Study
A Randomized Controlled Trial of Care Management for PTSD Among Predominantly Latino Patients in Safety Net Health Centers
Published in: Contemporary Clinical Trials, v. 38, no. 2, July 2014, p. 163-172
Posted on RAND.org on June 09, 2014
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common problem in primary care. Although effective treatments are available, little is known about whether such treatments are effective within the context of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) that serve as national "safety nets" for providing primary care for low income and underinsured patients. The Violence and Stress Assessment (ViStA) study is the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test the impact of a care management intervention for treating PTSD in FQHCs. To develop a PTSD management intervention appropriate for lower resource FQHCs and the predominantly Latino patients they serve, formative work was conducted through a collaborative effort between researchers and an FQHC practice-based research network. This article describes how FQHC stakeholders were convened to review, assess, and prioritize evidence-based strategies for addressing patient, clinician, and system-level barriers to care. This multi-component care management intervention incorporates diagnosis with feedback, patient education and activation; navigation and linkage to community resources; clinician education and medication guidance; and structured cross-disciplinary communication and continuity of care, all facilitated by care managers with FQHC experience. We also describe the evaluation design of this five-year RCT and the characteristics of the 404 English or Spanish speaking patients enrolled in the study and randomized to either the intervention or to usual care. Patients are assessed at baseline, six months, and 12 months to examine intervention effectiveness on PTSD, other mental health symptoms, health-related quality-of-life, health care service use; and perceived barriers to care and satisfaction with care.