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VISN 17 Center of Excellence


Current Projects



Current Projects

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for Co-Occurring PTSD and SUD in Veterans
Substance use disorders and PTSD are both common among Veterans and often occur together. This research aims to test the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on treating these disorders as symptoms frequently do not improve when both disorders are not treated simultaneously.

Project SERVE (Study Evaluating Returning Veterans Experiences) - Eric Meyer, PhD, PI, Merit Funded by RR&D
Despite important epidemiological work on returning war Veterans, relatively little is known about the specific biopsychosocial factors that predict which Veterans exposed to trauma are at risk for future problems. SERVE is a longitudinal study that aims to improve functional outcomes and the quality of life of returning OIF/OEF/OND Veterans. The study will identify factors that prospectively predict long-term functioning and community reintegration as well as identify malleable factors that prospectively predict improvements in long-term functioning and community reintegration. Results will inform future research that will develop and assess interventions that target these factors. Data generated by this longitudinal study has also provided a rich data set for CoE investigators and students (see 2017 report).

Brain Connectivity and TBI
Military veterans commonly suffer lasting effects of blast-related mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs), which damage the brain’s white matter pathways and disrupt communication across large networks of the brain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques such as diffusion MRI and functional MRI can be used to study how such disrupted brain networks can result in chronic physical and cognitive symptoms, including headaches, memory problems, anxiety, and personality changes. Through these techniques, it is possible to examine how disruptions of specific brain areas that are critical to integrating information in the brain network, called brain network “hubs”, may induce particularly widespread and disabling TBI symptoms. Through this research, we can begin to identify targeted treatments.

Research Examining Gulf War Illness in Our Nations Service Members (REGIONS) - Dena Davidson, Phd, PI, Merit funded by CSR&D
At least 1 in 4 of the 700,000 U.S. Veterans who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War suffer from Gulf War Illness (GWI). This symptom profile of GWI is similar to that of fibromyalgia syndrome, another multi-symptom condition. Whereas, effective treatments for GWI have yet to be found, progress has been made in identifying medications to treat fibromyalgia syndrome. The absence of treatments for GWI and the symptom similarities between GWI and fibromyalgia syndrome, provides a rationale for determining if FDA approved medications for treating fibromyalgia syndrome can provide relief to Veterans who suffer from GWI. This study proposed is a double-blind, double-dummy trial to determine if pregabalin and duloxetine are also effective in treating similar symptoms in Veterans with GWI.

Multimodal Investigation of the Neuroprotective Effects of Resveratrol – Dena Davidson, PhD, PI pilot funded by CDMRP
Since their return from military service in the 1990-1991 Gulf War, a substantial number of Veterans have been affected by a complex of difficult and persistent symptoms, not explained by medical or psychiatric diagnoses. The chemical exposure hypothesis posits that the combination of chemical and environmental exposures during the war produced a perfect storm that accounts for the neurological symptoms known as Gulf War Illness (GWI). Animal models of GWI find that GWI-relevant exposures induce behavioral deficits that mirror deficits commonly reported by Veterans with GWI. Research also strongly suggests that the toxicity of these exposures is mediated by oxidative stress that leads to cellular injury. Our group has promising behavioral and biochemical data from an animal model of GWI, demonstrating that the supplement resveratrol, a polyphenol found abundantly in the skin of red grapes and that has robust antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, relieves many symptoms of GWI, including cognitive and mood dysfunction, and hippocampal oxidative stress and inflammation. We hypothesize that this over-the-counter supplement will improve some of the symptoms of GWI.

The objective of the current proposal is to explain how, for whom, and under what circumstances Primary Care Mental Health Integration programs are able to effectively deliver individual psychotherapy for depression in primary care consistent with evidence-based recommendations (i.e., 3-8 sessions). Using Pawson and Tilley’s Realist Evaluation approach, we will identify how Primary Care Mental Health Integration programs can deliver brief individual psychotherapy for depression within 6 months of a new-onset depressive disorder diagnosis. Administrative patient data for each VAMC will be used to identify VAMCs providing high or low rates of Primary Care Mental Health Integration-based brief psychotherapy for depression among Veterans newly diagnosed with depression and initiating psychotherapy. From these VAMCs we will identify Primary Care Mental Health Integration system design characteristics (e.g., number and type of psychotherapy providers, use of open access clinic slots, same-day-as-diagnosis access to mental health services) and provider decision- making processes (e.g., who is treated in primary care, type of psychotherapy provided, for how long, at what interval, and how treatment needs are assessed) that enable or inhibit the successful delivery of brief psychotherapy within the primary care setting.

This is a 12-week, multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of 1 subcutaneous dose regimen of fremanezumab in adult patients aged 18-70, inclusive, for the prevention of PPTH. Patients who provide written informed consent and complete a screening visit will enter a run-in period lasting approximately 4 weeks (28+3 days), during which they will enter PTH information into an electronic diary application daily to establish baseline parameters. Patients will return to the study site after completing the run-in period, and those who meet eligibility requirements will be randomized to receive the test Investigational Medicinal Product (IMP) or placebo IMP. An end of treatment visit will occur ~28 days after the administration of the last dose of IMP, a follow up phone visit will occur ~24 weeks after the first dose of IMP and a final follow up visit will occur approximately 40 weeks after the first dose of IMP to evaluate anti-drug antibodies, fremanezumab concentrations, and safety.

Neurofeedback is the operant conditioning of a measure of brain functioning such as the quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG). A few open-label studies of neurofeedback for the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) have shown statistically significant improvements in attention, impulsivity, processing speed, executive functioning, and global cognition measures. However, this study will be the first double-blind, placebo-controlled study of neurofeedback for participants with TBI. This study’s hypothesis is that participants who undergo neurofeedback will experience improved functioning as measured by the WHODAS 2.0 compared to control participants who receive sham treatment. Secondary outcomes include symptom severity, both globally and specific to post-concussive syndrome. Participants will also undergo functional connectivity analysis by fMRI to determine changes in functional connectivity due to the intervention. This study would provide proof-of-concept as well as data for a power analysis for a future randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial of neurofeedback for TBI. The potential benefits of neurofeedback over existing therapies include a physiologic approach to neuronal rehabilitation, a reduction long-term medication usage, a smaller side-effect profile, better adherence, and greater patient satisfaction. Future studies might focus on variations in treatment to make neurofeedback less time-intensive, which is a primary barrier to access.

The main objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as an adjunctive treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in addition to intensive psychotherapy. We will also gather data regarding TMS’s mechanism of action using electroencephalographic event-related potentials and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This study has the potential to provide a model of adjunctive treatment of PTSD using TMS, which could help patients who are refractory to psychotherapy. If successful, it could help establish an evidence base for the use of a biologic treatment for PTSD.

Soldiers in war zones have a high incidence of traumatic brain injuries that may damage white matter tracts in the brain. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between head trauma exposure, symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and structural and functional changes assessed with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The long-range goal of the research is to develop improved procedures for identifying and tracking traumatic brain injury with MRI and other modalities. One hundred Veterans with and without reports of exposure to a head trauma will be scanned. High resolution Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and Diffusion Spectrum Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DSI) data will be used to correlate task performance to alterations in DTI signals in specific white matter tract.

A history of military sexual trauma (MST) is associated with sexual difficulties, including problems with sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, and sexual pain. Given the high rates of MST among female veterans, this group is at an elevated risk for developing sexual dysfunction, and currently little educational or treatment information is available to address these concerns. The applicants propose to develop a psychoeducational brochure on coping with sexual difficulties after MST by reviewing the literature, conducting qualitative interviews, and self-report questionnaires with this population at one large VAMC women’s clinic and associated rural CBOCs. We propose to develop one brochure for female veterans and one for VA providers on this topic.

Both VA and NIH leadership have identified shortfalls in the education of scientific leaders. Although many mentored funded research opportunities are available, the number of junior investigators who continue a career in clinical science remains disappointing and the attrition between mentored status and independent status is considerable. There is also a strong need for VA mental health leaders who are competent in clinical science, administration and management. The VISN 17 CoE serves as one of 25 national sites in a 2-year advanced fellowship designed to create new generations of VA mental health leaders who are passionate about science and competent in administration and management. The training of clinical scientist leaders is essential to the continued development of evidence-based clinical practices for the optimal care of Veterans and the effective implementation of these practices.

An estimated 29% of all OEF/OIF veterans enrolled in a VA between FY2002-FY2012 met criteria for PTSD according to a recent Congressional Report. Given the high rate of PTSD among deployed Service Members and veterans, it is not surprising that gaps in genomics and biomarker research were identified as priorities in recent Institute of Medicine reports on the state of prevention, clinical care, and research on military-related PTSD (IOM; 2012; 2014) as well as the National Research Action Plan (2012). The mandate underscores the need for biomarker research that identifies causal mechanisms for disease onset and progression as well as the need to discover new diagnostic methods and treatment targets. One area of rapidly evolving mechanistic discovery in PTSD is in the area of genetics. To date, several candidate genes have been implicated in PTSD including FK506 binding protein 5 (FKBP5), gammaaminobutyric acid receptor subunit alpha-2 (GABRA2), corticotrophin-releasing hormone type 1 receptor gene (CRHR1), the dopamine receptor 2 (DRD2), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and the specific type 1 receptor (PAC1) to name a few. In addition, recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified the retinoid-related orphan receptor alpha (RORA) gene and the tolloid-like 1 gene (TLL1) gene associated with PTSD. Ongoing efforts by the Psychiatric Genetics Consortium (PGC) to pool GWAS data across several large PTSD projects promises to add significantly to the list of genes associated with PTSD. In this project, we propose to systematically examine genes dysregulated in PTSD and their associated genetic variation and epigenetic regulators (DNA methylation and microRNA). To achieve these goals, we will capitalize on the availability of three unique research resources within CAP: (1) A collection of human postmortem tissue (amygdala, medial orbital frontal cortex, hippocampus C3, anterior cingulate cortex, dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex) of PTSD (n=30) and matched control (n=60) brains; (2) A cohort of active-duty service members treated for PTSD with blood collected prior to treatment and at 6-months post-treatment (n=~600); and (3) An epidemiologic cohort of Soldiers assessed prior to and after deployment in support of OEF/OIF/OND that included blood collection and PTSD assessment at each assessment (n=4,112).

Treatment of PTSD Using TMS
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been proven effective in the treatment of depression and has the potential to be an effective, non-invasive, and safe treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD effects between 20% and 30% of returning war Veterans, and many of these Veterans either will not participate in current evidence-based treatments or fail to improve following treatment. In addition, pre- and post-dTMS functional MRI (fMRI) can provide the means to better understand the mechanism of action by which dTMS affects brain circuitry implicated in PTSD symptomatology.

Double-Blind Placebo Controlled Study of Lithium for Preventing Repeated Suicidal Self-Directed Violence in Patients with Depression or Bipolar Disorder
Research has demonstrated that lithium can prevent suicide in patients with bipolar disorder and depression. The question about the effectiveness of lithium for suicide prevention is one of major scientific, clinical and public health significance. The objective of this CSP study is to test the hypothesis that lithium augmentation of enhanced usual care will reduce the rate of repeated episodes of suicidal self-directed violence (repeated suicide attempts, interrupted attempts, hospitalizations specifically to prevent suicide and deaths from suicide) in Veterans with bipolar disorder or depression who have survived a recent event.

The Effectiveness of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in Depressed VA Patients
This study aims to test the efficacy, safety, durability of benefit, and cost-effectiveness of rTMS on treatment resistant major depression. There are no options available for Veterans who do not respond to psychotherapy or antidepressants. This non-invasive technique may provide effective and affordable, much needed relief.

Multi-Specialty Intervention for Antipsychotic-related Metabolic Risk Management – Justin Benzer, PhD, PI CDA-2 funded by HSR&D
The purpose of this CDA is to develop my capability to study healthcare organizational context to support evidence-based practice implementation. The evidence-based practice for this CDA is the metabolic monitoring guideline for medical treatment of Veterans with serious mental illness who are treated with antipsychotics. Antipsychotics are prescribed to over 220,000 Veterans for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and PTSD. Antipsychotics use is associated with metabolic risk such as rapid weight gain and increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Veterans with diabetes generally receive metabolic risk management (e.g., glucose and cholesterol screening) in accordance with guidelines. However, metabolic screening for non-diabetic Veterans treated with antipsychotics is substantially lower. The Model for Understanding Success in Quality (MUSIQ) defines context in quality improvement as characteristics of the team developing quality improvement the microsystem implementing quality improvement, as well as organization factors. However, MUSIQ requires elaboration in at least two areas. First, an assumption of MUSIQ is that in quality improvement will be implemented in one clinical microsystem (i.e., frontline unit). However, improving metabolic screening requires involvement of primary care and mental health; two interacting clinical microsystems. Second, MUSIQ identifies provider involvement as a key factor in quality improvement success, but does not posit how context affects provider involvement in quality improvement. To elaborate MUSIQ in these two ways we will achieve the following specific aims: Specific Aim 1: Develop a model of how interacting microsystems affect how in quality improvement can be tailored to implement metabolic screening evidence-based practice at a VA medical center using qualitative ethnography. Specific Aim 2: Determine how interacting microsystems influence provider involvement in in quality improvement through a mixed methods study.

Implementation of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Rollout of Strength at Home Violence Prevention Model - Suzannah Creech, PhD, Co-I Funded by Blue Shield Foundation and the Bob Woodruff Foundation   The goal is to implement the Strength at Home Program for preventing interpersonal violence across several sites within the VA Healthcare System to address a gap in services and initiate a VA national rollout. The primary activities to be performed during the proposed one year project period involve: 1) Training providers and service leaders in delivery of the Strength at Home Program and how to navigate potential barriers in implementing this program within the VA Healthcare System; 2) Conducting supervision with providers after the training period has ended and when providers are working with VA patients using Strength at Home; and 3) Conducting assessments of program effectiveness with a particular focus on reductions and cessation of physical and psychological aggression and relationship conflict. The proposed team will coordinate with leadership at VACO who are charged with implementing domestic violence services within the VA, and work with domestic violence teams currently being assembled at each pilot site across the country.

Adaptation, Refinement, and Open Trial of Parent Training for Veterans with PTSD – Suzannah Creech, PhD, PI Merit funded by RR&D
The overall goal of this work is to adapt, refine, and conduct an open trial of a parent-training intervention for Veterans with PTSD using feedback from Veterans, VA clinicians, and expert consultants as key stakeholders. PTSD symptoms are associated with parent-child functioning difficulties that are also an important determinant of quality of life and functional recovery. Unfortunately, existing treatments for PTSD do not appear to improve family functioning. PTSD-Focused Parent Training (PFPT), is derived from an existing evidence-based intervention to improve Veteran relationship functioning (Strength at Home), and it is informed by the Cognitive Behavioral Theory of Interpersonal Functioning and the Military Family Attachment frameworks for the association between PTSD and family functioning problems. PFPT emphasizes the acquisition of parenting skills associated with positive child outcomes and healthy parent-child functioning (e.g., positive parenting, consistent discipline, parental monitoring). Integrated throughout the treatment is an emphasis on anger management, emotion regulation, and improved parent-child attachment. PFPT also includes a pre-treatment Motivational Interviewing Assessment to assist Veterans with PTSD in strengthening and building motivation to change their parenting behaviors. The goals and change talk identified in the pre-treatment Motivational Interviewing Assessment are then referred to throughout the PFPT treatment. Groups are gender specific, meaning that we will pilot the treatment in separate groups of women and men Veterans.

Addressing the Health Concerns of VA Women with Sexual Trauma – Suzannah Creech, PhD, PI funded by CDMRP
The goal is to provide an effective, integrated, and low-cost intervention that targets sexual trauma-related risks for women Veterans with lifetime sexual trauma. Our proposed research will develop and assess a computer-delivered intervention (Safety and Health Experiences Program; SHE) that will provide a screening and brief behavior intervention for women Veterans with any lifetime sexual trauma. SHE will also address interrelated health concerns for women Veterans such as alcohol misuse, intimate partner violence and PTSD. SHE will be designed to provide individualized assessment, feedback, and referrals for women Veterans with lifetime sexual trauma and will take place within a primary care setting. Primary care visits are frequent points of health care contact for women Veterans making the visit itself the ideal, and possibly only, opportunity to provide behavioral interventions. The study will lay the groundwork for a larger clinical trial of the SHE program in multiple VA primary care settings.

Project REMISSION: Maximinizing Outcomes With Intensive Outpatient Treatment for PTSD – Bryann DeBeer, PhD, PI funded by the Consortium for Alleviating PTSD
The primary objective is to maximize outcomes in the treatment of combat-related PTSD in active duty service members and Veterans by evaluating two versions of Prolonged Exposure Intensive Outpatient Program treatments. The Intensive Outpatient Program format will allow for the inclusion of significant enhancements and augmentations to the previously used Massed- Prolonged Exposure protocol at Fort Hood. In contrast to the limited data on the use of intensive outpatient treatments for the treatment of combat-related PTSD, the proposed Intensive Outpatient Programs will be based on Prolonged Exposure therapy, the intervention with the strongest scientific evidence for the treatment of PTSD. A second objective is to determine if targeting the primary PTSD comorbidities with brief cognitive behavioral treatment modules will not only improve comorbid symptoms but also result in significantly greater reductions in overall PTSD symptoms. A third objective is to determine the psychological, cognitive, and biological predictors of treatment outcome.

Measuring Moral Injury Events in Veterans and Soldiers – Sheila Frankfurt, PhD, PI CDA-1 funded by RR&D
Service Members often describe their worst military-based traumas as the confrontation with unresolvable moral dilemmas that rattle their fundamental sense of self. Moral Injury is the debilitating syndrome that indexes the psychiatric and functional impairment associated with these military-based traumas. The objective of this study is to improve the measurement of the moral injury construct by evaluating two moral injury event questionnaires (i.e., Moral Injury Events Scale [MIES] and Moral Injury Questionnaire-Military Version [MIQM]) and refining these instruments by creating new measures of moral injury events and mechanisms using items from these instruments. We will conduct secondary analysis on data from two longitudinal parent studies: a CoE study of Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans (N = ~500) and a DoD WRAIR study of active duty Soldiers (N = ~800). Data on the MIES and MIQM, along with a set of theoretically relevant predictors and outcomes, are being collected at two time points in Veteran and Soldier samples. This CDA-1 will also provide Dr. Frankfurt with the support needed to move her towards her career goal of being an independent VA clinical research scientist with a focus in military trauma-related sequelae including moral injury and aim to improve post-deployment reintegration.

Sample Publications

Below is a sample of some of our recent published work:

Young, K. A., Thompson, P. M., Cruz, D. A., Williamson, D. E., Selemon, L. D. (2015). BA11 FKBP5 expression levels correlate with dendritic spine density in postmortem PTSD and controls. Neurobiology of Stress, 2, 67-72.

Nelson, S. M., Savalia, N. K., Fishell, A. K., Gilmore, A. W., Zou, F., Balota, D. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2015). Default mode network activity predicts early memory decline in healthy young adults aged 18-31. Cerebral Cortex, 2015, 1–11.

Cook, A. J., Meyer, E. C., Evans, L. D., Vowles, K. E., Klocek, J. W., Kimbrel, N. A., Gulliver, S. B., & Morissette, S. B. (2015). Chronic pain acceptance incrementally predicts disability in polytrauma-exposed veterans at baseline and 1-year follow-up. Behavior Research & Therapy, 73, 25-32. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2015.07.003

Evans, L. D., Stock, E. M., Zeber, J. E., Morissette, S. B., MacCarthy, A. A., Sako, E. Y., Lappin, J., Lawrence, V. A., MacCarthy, D. J., & Copeland, L. A. (2015). Post-transplantation outcomes in veterans with serious mental illness. Transplantation, 99(8), 57-65. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000000616

Hiraoka, R., Meyer, E.C., Kimbrel, N.A., DeBeer, B.B., Gulliver, S.B., & Morissette, S.B. (2015). Self-compassion as a prospective predictor of PTSD symptom severity among trauma-exposed U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 28, 1-7. DOI: 10.1002/jts.21995

Creech, SK. Johnson, E; Borgia, M; Bourgault, M; Redihan, S; O’Toole, T (2015). Identifying mental and physical health correlates of homelessness among first-time and chronically homeless Veterans. Journal of Community Psychology.43 (5), 619-627. doi: 10.1002/jcop.21707

Hayes, M.A., Gallagher, M.W., Stavitsky Gilbert, K., Creech, S.K., DeCandia, C.J., Beach, C.A., & Taft, C.T. (2015) Targeting Relational Aggression in Veterans: The Strength at Home Friends and Family Intervention. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 76(6), 774-778. doi: 10.4088/JCP.14m09155

Hiraoka, R., Cook, A.J., Bivona, J.M., Meyer, E.C., & Morissette, S.B. (2015). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the treatment of depression related to military sexual trauma in a woman veteran: A case study. Clinical Case Studies, 1-14. DOI: 10.1177/1534650115594004

Proctor, S.P., Nieto, K., Heaton, K.J., Dillon, C.C., Schlegel, R.E., Russell, M.L., & Vincent, A.S. (2015) Neurocognitive Performance and Prior Injury Among U.S. Department of Defense Military Personnel. Military Medicine, 180(6), 660-669. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00298

Kimbrel, N. A., DeBeer, B. B., Meyer, E. C., Silvia, P. J. Beckham, J. C., Young, K. A., & Morissette, S. B. (2015). An examination of the broader effects of warzone experiences on returning Iraq/Afghanistan veterans' psychiatric health. Psychiatry Research, 226(1), 78-83.

Wilson, L. C., Simmons, B. L., Leheney, E. K., Ballman, A. D., Meyer, E. C., DeBeer, B. B., Morissette, S. B., & Kimbrel, N. A. (2015). Does military sexual trauma moderate the impact of critical warzone experiences? Psychiatry Research, 229, 596-598. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.023

Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E. C., & Beckman, J. C. (2015). A clinician's perspective on memory reconsolidation as the primary basis for psychotherapeutic change in PTSD. Invited commentary on Lane, Ryan, Nadel & Greenberg. Memory reconsolidation, emotional arousal and the process of change in psychotherapy: New insights from brain science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 38(8). doi: 10.1017/S0140525X1400017X.

Kimbrel, N. A., Morissette, S. B., Meyer, E. C., Chrestman, R., Jamroz, R., Silvia P.J., Beckham J. C., & Young, K. A. (2015). Effect of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism on posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and quality of life among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Anxiety Stress & Coping, 28(4), 456-466. DOI:10.1080/10615806.2014.973862

Laumann, T. O., Gordon, E. M., Adeyemo, B., Snyder, A. Z., Joo, S. J., Chen, M-Y., Gilmore, A. W., McDermott, K. B., Nelson, S. M., Dosenbach, N. U. F., Schlaggar, B. L., Mumford, J. A., Poldrack, R. A., & Petersen, S. E. (2015). Functional system and areal organization of a highly sampled individual human brain. Neuron, 87, 1-14.

Neta, M., Miezin, F.M., Nelson, S.M., Dubis, J.W., Dosenbach, N.U., Schlaggar, B.L., & Petersen, S.E. (2015) Spatial and temporal characteristics of error-related activity in the human brain. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(1), 253-66. doi: 10.1523/Jneuroscie. 1313-14.2015

Wilson, L.C., Kimbrel, N.A., Meyer, E.C., Young, K.A. & Morissette, S.B. (2015). Do child abuse and maternal care interact to predict military sexual trauma? Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71(4), 378-386. doi: 10.1002/JCLP.22143.


Sample Presentations

Below is a sample of some of our recent professional presentations:

Creech, SK; Taft, CT. (2015, November). Use and Experience of Recent Intimate Partner Violence Among Women Veterans who Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Poster presentation at International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. New Orleans, LA.

DeBeer, B.B., Kimbrel N.A., Meyer, E.C., Kittel, J., Davidson, D. & Morissette S.B. (November, 2015). Social cognition as a novel risk factor for suicidal ideation in veterans with PTSD. Poster session presented at the International Society for Trauma and Stress Studies, New Orleans, LA.

Meyer, E.C., DeBeer, B.B., Kimbrel, N.A., Gulliver, S.B., & Morissette, S.B. (2015, November). The influence of peritraumatic dissociation and experiential avoidance on mental health symptoms over time in war veterans. In Fleming, C.J. (Chair) Understanding Trauma-Related Dissociation: Risk Factors and Outcomes. Presented at the 49th annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Chicago, IL.

Evans, L.D., Morissette, S.B., Wills, S., Schouest, T., & Peebles-Beckworth, B. (2015, October). Veterans Tactical Response: Implementing a train-the-trainer program in law enforcement agencies. Training workshop to be presented at the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) Training Coordinators Conference, Corpus Christi, TX.

Creech, S., Swift, R., Zlotnick, C., Street, A., Taft, C. (2015, August). Combat Exposure, Mental Health, and Family Functioning Among Women Veterans. In JC Flanagan & ML Kelley (Chairs), Mental Health, Alcohol Use, and Relationship Satisfaction among Military Members and Veterans. Symposium to be presented at the 2015 APA annual convention, Toronto.

Mignogna, J., Martin, L.A., Mott, J., Cao, Y., Thakur, E., Kauth, M., Kunik, M.E., Naik, A.D., & Cully, J.A. (2015, May). Mixed-Methods Analyses of an Implementation Strategy of Brief Psychotherapy in Primary Care. Poster presented at the 18th Annual VA Psychology Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

DeBeer, B.B., Meyer, E.C., Silvia, P.J., Beckham, J.C., Young, K.A., Morissette, S.B., & Kimbrel, N. A. (2015, May). Understanding the broader effects of critical warzone experiences on returning veterans psychological health. In Wilson, L.C. & Kimbrel, N.A. (Chairs) Recent advances in understanding the broad impact of critical warzone experiences on returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans' psychological health. Symposium presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, New York.

Evans, L.D. (2015, May). Strength In Numbers: Keynote address. Invited address given to the NAMI Mental Health Awareness event as part of the National Mental Health Awareness Month project, Waco, TX.

Kittel, J.A., Pronove, L.M., DeBeer, B.B., Kimbrel, N.A., Meyer, E.C., Gulliver, S.B., & Morissette, S.B. (April 2015). Obesity as a moderator between the association between post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and suicidal ideation. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Suicidology (AAS), Atlanta, GA.

DeBeer, B.B., Kittel, J.A., Cook, A., Davidson, D., Kimbrel, N. A., Meyer, E. C., Gulliver, S. B. & Morissette, S. (April 2015). New avenues for suicide prevention in trauma exposed veterans: The role of health-promoting behaviors. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Suicidology (AAS), Atlanta, GA.

Mignogna, J., Martin, L.A., Mott, J., Cao, Y., Thakur, E., Kauth, M., Kunik, M.E., Naik, A.D., & Cully, J.A. (2015, April). Mixed-Methods Analyses of an Implementation Strategy of Brief Psychotherapy in Primary Care. Poster presented at the 36th Society of Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting, in San Antonio, Texas.

Cook, A.J., Meyer, E.C., Evans, L.D., Vowles, K.E., Klocek, J.W., Kimbrel, N.A., Gulliver, S.B., & Morissette, S.B. (2015, April). Chronic pain acceptance incrementally predicts disability in polytrauma-exposed veterans. Poster presented at the annual scientific meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, San Antonio, TX.

Meyer, E.C., Hiraoka, R., Kimbrel, N.A., Gulliver, S.B., & Morissette, S.B. (2014, November). Self-compassion as a mediator of PTSD symptom severity over time in trauma-exposed Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans. Poster presented at the 48th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

Scheinfeld, D.E. (2014, October). From Battlegrounds to the Backcountry: The Intersection of Masculinity and Outward Bound Programming on Psychosocial Functioning for Male Military Veterans. Poster presented at the Association for Experiential Education International Conference, Chattanooga, TN.

Scheinfeld, D.E. (2014, October). Interpersonal Context in Adventure Therapy. Workshop presented at the Association for Experiential Education International Conference Therapeutic Adventure Program Group Pre-Conference, Chattanooga, TN.

Meyer, E.C., Konecky, B., Kimbrel, N.A., Marx, B.P., Schumm, J., Gulliver, S.B., & Morissette, S.B. (2014, March). The structure of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: Associations with functional impairment in war veterans. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Chicago, IL.

Cobb, A., Lancaster, C., Meyer, E.C., Lee, H-J., & Telch, M. (2014, March). Interactive diatheses in soldiers deployed to Iraq: A prospective, multiwave analysis of PTSD, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Chicago, IL.