Tracing the flow of knowledge: geographic variability in the diffusion of prazosin use for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder nationally in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
ABSTRACT Passive diffusion of new medical innovations is an important mechanism by which knowledge transitions from research to clinical practice. Preliminary evidence has emerged about the effectiveness of the alpha(1)-adrenergic blocker prazosin hydrochloride in the treatment of nightmares and hyperarousal among patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This treatment has been neither widely accepted nor the subject of active dissemination efforts, and its efficacy was discovered in a discrete geographic location.
To evaluate the pace and reach of the passive dissemination of a promising technology within a national health care system.
Geographic surveillance data study.
We tracked the use of prazosin in the treatment of patients diagnosed as having PTSD in the Department of Veterans Affairs during fiscal years 2004 (n = 203 414) and 2006 (n = 319 670).
The percentage of patients diagnosed as having PTSD who received a prescription for prazosin.
Whereas 37.6% of patients with PTSD treated within the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Tacoma, Washington, in 2004 were prescribed prazosin, only 18.2% were treated with prazosin at medical centers up to 499 miles (to convert miles to kilometers, multiply by 1.6) away, 6.7% at centers 500 to 999 miles away, 4.0% at centers 1000 to 2499 miles away, and 1.9% at centers 2500 miles away or farther. Adjusting for patient characteristics, patients with PTSD treated up to 499 miles from Puget Sound were about 49% less likely in 2006 and about 63% less likely in 2004 to be prescribed prazosin than their counterparts treated within Puget Sound, while those who were treated 2500 miles away or farther were about 94% less likely in 2006 and about 97% less likely in 2004 to be treated with prazosin than patients within Puget Sound.
Passive diffusion of a new treatment can be rapid in the immediate area in which it is developed, but the geographic gradient of use seems to be steep and enduring even when cost and organizational barriers are minimal.
American Journal of Psychiatry 01/2014; 171(1):117. DOI:10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.13091259 · 13.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dissemination methods are used to increase the likelihood that a given treatment or form of clinical practice is implemented by clinicians in the community. Therapist training in treatment methods is an important component of dissemination. Successful dissemination also requires that roadblocks to treatment implementation are identified and circumvented, such as misconceptions that clinicians might hold about a given treatment. The present article offers a commentary on the papers included in the special issue on treatment dissemination for anxiety disorders. Most papers focus on issues concerning the training and education of clinicians with regard to exposure therapy. Training and education is an important step but should be part of a broad, multifaceted approach. There are several other important methods of treatment dissemination, including methods developed and implemented with success by the pharmaceutical industry, might also be used to disseminate psychosocial therapies. Optimal dissemination likely requires a broad perspective in which multiple dissemination methods are considered for implementation.Journal of anxiety disorders 09/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.09.002 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment is often complicated in veterans by co-occurring conditions including pain, insomnia, brain injury, and other mental disorders. Pharmacologic approaches to these conditions can produce an accumulation of sedating medications with potential for safety concerns. The objective of this study was to characterize polysedative prescribing among veterans with PTSD over an 8-year period. National Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) data were used to identify veterans with PTSD using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes among regular medication users. Prescribing of benzodiazepines, hypnotics, atypical antipsychotics, opioids, and muscle relaxants was determined annually. Prevalence and incidence rates were determined for each medication class from 2004 through 2011. Polysedative use was determined from longitudinal refill patterns that indicated concurrent use across sedative classes. In 2004, 9.8% of veterans with PTSD concurrently received medications from three or more sedative classes. By 2011, the prevalence of concurrent use involving three or more classes increased to 12.1%. Polysedative use varied across demographic subgroups, with higher rates observed among women, rural residents, younger adults, Native Americans and Whites. The most common combination was an opioid plus a benzodiazepine, taken concurrently by 15.9% of veterans with PTSD. Important trends in polysedative use among veterans with PTSD illustrate the complexity of treating an intersecting cluster of symptoms managed by sedative medications. As the VA seeks to improve care by focusing on non-pharmacologic options, our findings emphasize the need for a comprehensive approach that encompasses overlapping conditions of relevance to veterans with PTSD.Pain Medicine 12/2013; 15(7). DOI:10.1111/pme.12321 · 2.24 Impact Factor