Preliminary adaptations of the LATR group for home-based primary care providers: Adapting a trauma group for new populations

Jennifer Daks, MA

Jennifer Daks, MA
Daks_Jennifer poster

Scientific Abstract

BACKGROUND: Emerging research suggests that Veterans facing age-related challenges may also experience an increase in PTSD symptoms through an intentional, normative process known as later adulthood trauma reengagement (LATR). LATR involves re-engaging with previously avoided or well-managed trauma memories in earlier life. Resolution of these memories in later-life can lead to meaning-making, however, unresolved memories can lead to increased distress and PTSD. To address the LATR process, researchers developed a 10-session psychoeducation group to facilitate meaning-making, post-traumatic growth and coping skills. Dissemination and adaptation efforts of this group (e.g., for individuals with medical complexity, cognitive impairment) are still needed.

METHODS: 14 VA Home-based Primary Care (HBPC) providers completed a brief online survey to identify: how PTSD and LATR presents in Veterans receiving HBPC services, and treatment challenges in this population of Veterans.

RESULTS: Providers indicated that PTSD symptoms typically present in the HPBC population in the context of: changes in physical/medical status, general life changes (e.g., retirement), and cognitive changes. When asked what symptoms are most challenging to treat, 79% of respondents reported intrusive symptoms, dissociate reactions, and psychological/physiological reactions to internal or external cues, 57% reported marked alterations in arousal and reactivity, 50% reported negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and 21% reported persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with traumatic events. Cognitive limitations were most commonly endorsed as a factor that increased treatment challenges. Other challenges included physical disability, ambivalence towards making change, symptom duration, limited social engagement and a lack of empirically supported interventions.

CONCLUSIONS: Results of this survey provided key insights into the unique presentation and challenges of treating PTSD and LATR in an aging Veteran population receiving HBPC services. Informed by these results, we created detailed dissemination materials. Future research could inform adaptations for Veterans receiving HBPC services.

Live Zoom Session – March 9th

research Areas

Authors

Jennifer Daks, M.A., Hannah Bashian, Ph.D., Lola Baird, LCSW, Anica Pless Kaiser, Ph. D., Kelly O’Malley, Ph.D., Anna Etchin, Ph.D., Hannah Heintz, B.A., Jennifer Moye, Ph.D., ABPP

Principal Investigator

Jennifer Moye, Ph.D. ABPP