VetChange is a web-based program tailored for Veterans of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF), designed to assist with the self-management of problem drinking and PTSD symptoms.
To reduce alcohol use and PTSD symptoms, VetChange uses a combination of motivational interviewing, self-control training, and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. Over eight weekly sessions, VetChange teaches Veterans techniques to improve coping skills and manage high risk internal and external situations that may trigger alcohol use or exacerbate PTSD symptoms. In the final sessions Veterans can personalize the program and focus on their most relevant problems, as well as build social support systems.
Link to commercial site here.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Improve management of PTSD Symptoms
Young Adults (18-30)
Web intervention for OEF/OIF Veterans with problem drinking and PTSD symptoms: A randomized clinical trial.
Brief DJ, Rubin A, Keane TM, Enggasser JL, Roy M, Helmuth E, Hermos J, Lachowicz M, Rybin D, Rosenbloom D. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 2013. 81(5): 890-900. PMID: 23875821.
Summary: This randomized controlled trial evaluated the efficacy of VetChange in a sample of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans. Using a Facebook advertisement, 600 Veterans were recruited and randomized. All participants had alcohol use problems. Participants were randomized to either a Immediate Intervention Group (IIG) or to a Delayed Intervention Group (DIG). Participants in the IIG had immediate access to VetChange and those in the DIG group had access after an eight week delay. Alcohol use and PTSD symptoms were assessed at baseline, immediately after completion of VetChange, and three months post-completion. In total, 40% of participants completed all three assessments, and rates of VetChange completion were similar across the two groups. Approximately 34% of IIG participants completed all eight sessions, while 39% of the DIG participants completed the program. After accessing VetChange, the IIG had greater decreases in drinks per day, average weekly drinks, and PTSD symptoms, compared to the DIG who had not yet utilized VetChange. After completing VetChange, the DIG also had significant decreases in drinks per day, average weekly drinks, and PTSD symptoms.
Take Away: Use of the VetChange program is associated with decreases in alcohol use and PTSD symptoms among OEF/OIF Veterans with problem drinking.