Design and methodology of a randomized clinical trial of home-based telemental health treatment for U.S. military personnel and veterans with depression.

Home-based telemental health (TMH) treatments have the potential to address current and future health needs of military service members, veterans, and their families, especially for those who live in rural or underserved areas. The use of home-based TMH treatments to address the behavioral health care needs of U.S. military healthcare beneficiaries is not presently considered standard of care in the Military Health System. The feasibility, safety, and clinical efficacy of home-based TMH treatments must be established before broad dissemination of home-based treatment programs can be implemented. This paper describes the design, methodology, and protocol of a clinical trial that compares in-office to home-based Behavioral Activation for Depression (BATD) treatment delivered via web-based video technology for service members and veterans with depression. This grant funded three-year randomized clinical trial is being conducted at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology at Joint-base Lewis-McChord and at the Portland VA Medical Center.

Best practice recommendations regarding the implementation of in-home telehealth in the military setting as well as the cultural and contextual factors of providing in-home care to active duty and veteran military populations are also discussed.

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