National Institute of Mental Health Grant Will Fund Study Examining Effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) in Treating PTSD and Other Traumas Virtually
Today, Talkspace (NASDAQ: TALK), a leading online behavioral health care company, announced it has been awarded a $3 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to study the effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) – a well-established treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – in a virtual setting. As millions of Americans – including veterans, sexual assault survivors, and others – continue to battle PTSD and other trauma related challenges, this research seeks to explore and unlock the potential of delivering CPT through digital channels, with the goal of dramatically expanding access to care for those most in need.
The new study will build on preliminary research undertaken by Talkspace which found that combining CPT with virtual tools could reduce trauma symptoms by twice as much over treatment as usual, and in less time. The pilot study of 60 participants utilized a hybrid model that offered educational experiences in conjunction with therapy. Results demonstrated that patients are able to achieve greater outcomes and that specially trained trauma therapists are able to assist more individuals in processing events and challenges than they could before.
“The mental health crisis in America is at an inflection point 20 months into the pandemic, and it’s more important than ever to explore new ways to deliver treatment to patients right where they are,” said Varun Choudhary, MD, MA, DFAPA, Chief Medical Officer of Talkspace. “Through this study, Talkspace is once again at the forefront of research and discovery in tele-mental health, and thanks to the NIMH and our outstanding research partners, we will be able to discover and better understand the impact of providing treatment through virtual channels.”
In conjunction with Talkspace, the three-year study will be led by principal investigators Shannon Wiltsey-Stirman, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Services at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Katy Dondanville, PsyD, ABPP, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (also known as UT Health San Antonio). The study will begin recruiting participants in March 2022 and CPT services will be offered in both English and Spanish on the Talkspace platform.
"Especially after the toll the pandemic has taken on our mental health, it's critical to find innovative and effective avenues for treating trauma and PTSD," said Dr. Katy Dondanville of UT Health San Antonio. "I’m excited to study how delivery of CPT through messaging can give people the care they need in a manner that is convenient and accessible for them.”
Previous Talkspace research found that multimedia message therapy for PTSD treatment was as effective in reducing symptoms as traditional therapy. This new grant comes on the heels of two other grants Talkspace received earlier this year from the National Institute of Mental Health, totaling nearly $7 million, to examine the experiences of tele-mental health and tele-therapy services for patients.
Talkspace is a leading virtual behavioral healthcare company enabled by a purpose-built technology platform. As a digital healthcare company, all care is delivered through an easy-to-use and fully encrypted web and mobile platform, consistent with HIPAA and other state regulatory requirements.
Today, the need for care feels more urgent than ever. When seeking treatment, whether it's psychiatry or adolescent, individual or couples therapy, Talkspace offers treatment options for almost every need. With Talkspace, members can send their dedicated therapists text, video, and voice messages anytime, from anywhere, and engage in live video sessions. As of June 2021, over 2 million people have used Talkspace, and over 55 million lives were covered for Talkspace through insurance and employee assistance programs or other network behavioral health paid benefit programs.
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