Purpose

If you worked or volunteered as a WTC rescue, recovery or clean-up worker after the 9/11 attacks, or are a survivor of the WTC 9/11 attacks, and you are still experiencing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms related to your WTC experience, you might be eligible to participate in this clinical trial of therapist-assisted, Internet-based (online) writing therapy for WTC responders and survivors with persistent PTSD symptoms. This study is for WTC responders and survivors who are not currently receiving psychotherapy/counseling. In this study, the researchers aim to find out if Internet-based therapy can help WTC responders and survivors who are still experiencing PTSD symptoms.

Condition

Eligibility

Eligible Ages
Over 18 Years
Eligible Genders
All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers
No

Inclusion Criteria

  • Men and women who have worked or volunteered as rescue, recovery or clean-up workers at the WTC site following the 9/11 attacks, or who were living as a resident or working as an employee within the NYC disaster area during the 9/11 attacks, and who: - are currently still experiencing significant posttraumatic stress symptoms related to what they witnessed or lived through during the 9/11 attacks or their WTC recovery work and: - are not currently receiving psychotherapy or counseling - do not have psychosis, a psychotic disorder, or bipolar disorder - have not had recent alcohol or drug use problems - are not experiencing suicidal thoughts,thoughts of harming others, or significant dissociative symptoms.

Exclusion Criteria

  • are currently taking antipsychotic medication, lithium or valproic acid. - have a current uncontrolled medical illness, neurological disorder affecting the central nervous system, or history of head injury

Study Design

Phase
N/A
Study Type
Interventional
Allocation
Randomized
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
Treatment
Masking
None (Open Label)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Experimental
Online Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Through guided writing, Internet-based cognitive therapy aims to help WTC responders and survivors process any traumatic experiences they lived through during their WTC recovery work and exposure.
  • Behavioral: Online Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
    Each participant will complete writing assignments focusing on how their experiences during the 9/11 attacks or the WTC recovery effort continue to affect their life, and the therapist will provide written responses and guidance within two work days, through the secure Web platform. Participants will be asked to complete one to two 45-minute writing assignments per week, over a six-week period (11 in total). Participants are asked not to begin new psychotherapy or medication with an outside therapist or doctor during the study.
    Other names:
    • Online Therapist-assisted Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
    • Integrative Testimonial Therapy
Active Comparator
Online Supportive Therapy
Through guided writing, Internet-based supportive therapy aims to help WTC responders and survivors work through any life problems they might currently be experiencing.
  • Behavioral: Online Supportive Therapy
    Each participant will complete writing assignments focusing on problems and stressors that are currently affecting their life, and the therapist will provide written responses and guidance within two work days, through the secure Web platform. Participants will be asked to complete one to two 45-minute writing assignments per week, over a six-week period (11 in total). Participants are asked not to begin new psychotherapy or medication with an outside therapist or doctor during the study.
    Other names:
    • Online Therapist-assisted Supportive Therapy
    • Supportive Psychotherapy

Recruiting Locations

Boston University
Boston, Massachusetts 02215-1703
Contact:
Charla Rhodes
Charla.Rhodes@va.gov

More Details

Status
Recruiting
Sponsor
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Study Contact

Mary Kowalchyk, MA
212-241-6163
mary.kowalchyk@mssm.edu

Detailed Description

Some people who live through traumatic experiences, such as the 9/11 WTC attacks or their aftermath, suffer from mental and physical problems that occur as a result of the incident and can persist over time. These problems are known as post-traumatic stress reactions or symptoms, and may include sleep disturbances, feelings of guilt and shame, persistent nightmares or upsetting memories of the incident, avoidance of reminders that might trigger upsetting memories, loss of interest in activities, concentration difficulties, and feeling distant from other people. People who experience persistent PTSD symptoms often receive treatment in person in an outpatient clinic. However, recent findings suggest that Internet-based treatment can also yield positive treatment effects. The Internet offers people the opportunity to receive psychological support from home. For some people, it is easier to communicate without direct visual contact with another person about their experiences. Despite the distance, people can reflect on their situation or concerns with the help of a personal therapist. As mentioned above, this study is for WTC responders who are not currently receiving psychotherapy/ counseling. After completing the online consent form and an initial online questionnaire, participants complete a telephone assessment conducted by a member of the team at Mount Sinai Medical Center. If you are eligible and agree to participate, you will be randomly assigned (as by the flip of a coin) to receive one of two therapies: Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy or Internet-based supportive therapy. Each participant is assigned a personal therapist from the team at Mount Sinai to work with throughout the treatment. In this study, communication between participant and therapist is conducted exclusively across the Internet, in written form, through the secure Web platform housed at Mount Sinai. The treatment involves written exchanges between participant and therapist over the course of approximately six weeks. Through guided writing, online therapy aims to help WTC responders process their traumatic experiences or better manage current life problems. In this study, the researchers aim to find out if Internet-based therapy can help WTC responders who are still experiencing PTSD symptoms.

Notice

Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.