Intensive psychotherapy and case management for Karen refugees with Major Depression in primary care: a pragmatic randomized control trial

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Tuesday, July 7th to Wednesday, September 30th

Please join us in an online, open forum on telehealth. NCB is providing an opportunity for clinicians to ask each other questions, share observations and adapted telehealth protocols for the SoT population via an online forum and technical exchange. This conversation will be a forum for peer-led informational exchange. NCB staff will assist in facilitating and monitoring the conversation.

Directions: Please watch Eugene Augusterfer’s presentation and interview Telemedicine in Mental Health first. Then feel free to join us in this open forum. All are welcome to join this forum, whether you have an account on or not. For more information on using the forum, please read the directions on the first post. Please keep your comments respectful, relevant, factual, and do not share identifying information about clients per client privacy and HIPAA regulations. This forum will be open from July 6, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

The article can be found here: Intensive psychotherapy and case management for Karen refugees with Major Depression in primary care: a pragmatic randomized control trial, in the journal BMC Family Practice. The authors of the study are Andrea K. Northwood, Maria M. Vukovich, Alison Beckman, Jeffrey P. Walter, Novia Josiah, Leora Hudak, Kathleen O’Donnell Burrows, James P. Letts and Christine C. Danner.

The trial divided participants (n=214) into two groups: one that received a year of intensive psychotherapy and case management provided by CVT clinicians in tandem with primary care administered at the clinics; and another that did not receive the CVT mental health intervention but that, like the CVT intervention group, received “treatment as usual” in terms of primary care services administered at the clinics. As stated in the study’s conclusion, “[a]dult Karen refugees with depression benefited from intensive psychotherapy and case management coordinated and delivered under usual conditions in primary care. Intervention effects strengthened at each interval, suggesting robust recovery is possible.”

According to co-author Andrea Northwood, PhD , LP, “This RCT is rare in a number of ways, most notably the long length of the intervention (1 year as contrasted with the typical 8, 12, at most 16 session studies of therapies); the relatively large sample size (214); the use of outcome assessors who did not know which intervention each person was receiving; the involvement of 3 separate Institutional Review Boards; the pragmatic client-led (vs manualized or pre-specified) nature of the intervention; the fact that the study was done by a small non-profit organization without a large government grant or a large university infrastructure to support it; and the resilient-yet-vulnerable client population with many logistical barriers to participation.”

Full article is available through the BMC Family Practice site.

Northwood, A.K., Vukovich, M.M., Beckman, A. et al. Intensive psychotherapy and case management for Karen refugees with major depression in primary care: a pragmatic randomized control trial. BMC Fam Pract 21, 17 (2020).


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