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Development of a brief support and education intervention for loved ones of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder

APA Citation:

Campbell, S. B. & Caska Wallace, C. M. (2023). Development of a brief support and education intervention for loved ones of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 36(3), 557-566. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.22914

Abstract Created by REACH:

PTSD 101 for Family and Friends: A Support and Education Workshop (henceforth: PTSD 101) was developed as a brief, single-session program for loved ones of Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The intervention was designed to increase knowledge of PTSD and foster social connections among participants. This study examined the acceptability (e.g., overall quality of the workshop, relevance of the topics covered) of PTSD 101. 181 partners, relatives, or friends of Veterans with PTSD provided feedback on the program via surveys and open-ended questions. Overall, participants were highly satisfied with the content of PTSD 101 and appreciated the social connections and sense of support from other participants.


Mental health

Branch of Service:

Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:


Subject Affiliation:

Military families
Spouse of service member or veteran
Child of a service member or veteran


Adolescence (13 - 17 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Aged (65 yrs & older)
Very old (85 yrs & older)


Campbell, Sarah B., Caska Wallace, Catherine M.


Clinical practice guidelines for managing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) encourage incorporating loved ones into treatment, and supportive relationships can increase engagement in mental health care for veterans with PTSD. This study describes the iterative refinement, feasibility/acceptability testing, and national dissemination of a brief support and psychoeducation intervention for loved ones of veterans with PTSD. Loved ones (n = 181; range:1–11 per group) attended and qualitatively rated “PTSD 101 for Family and Friends: A Support and Education Workshop.” Open-ended questions were used to gather data on suggestions for improvement and descriptions of helpful content, and the workshop was refined following participant and operational partner feedback using a quality improvement framework. Rating quantitative items on a 1–5 scale, participants found the overall quality (M = 4.76) and relevance (M = 4.82) to be excellent, noting they learned substantial new information (M = 4.45). Sense of support (M = 4.95), intentions to use the material (M = 4.87), PTSD self-efficacy (M = 4.41), and understanding of PTSD (M = 4.76) were rated favorably. Common themes among helpful elements were a sense of shared experience and optimism and increased knowledge of treatments/resources. Suggestions for improvement referenced logistics. Following continual stakeholder feedback and refinement, the workshop represents a novel method for providing loved ones with empirically supported psychoeducation, coping skills, and community. It is being disseminated by the Family Services Section of the Veterans Health Administration Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Publication Type:

REACH Publication


loved ones, education intervention, support, veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  June 2023

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