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CONTACT (CONcussion Treatment After Combat Trauma) Research Study

Note: This study is no longer recruiting


Concussion (or mild traumatic brain injury) due to accident and blast exposure has been one of the most common injuries reported from the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan (Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom). An effective method of treating the persisting symptoms of concussion and symptoms of distress (such as depression and anxiety) that could move easily with the service member would improve recovery and overall quality of life.

Purpose of the Study:

In this study, we are testing whether a telephone-based counseling intervention called problem-solving treatment or a control intervention of education alone help service members and National Guard/Reservists with concussion who have returned from deployment to improve symptom control and lessen depression and anxiety. This is a study which is funded by the Department of Defense. We have recruited service members to participate in this study from Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg. Three hundred fifty-six service members were enrolled and randomized into one of two groups to receive either telephone counseling calls or educational materials on coping with symptoms and stresses every other week for 6 months.

Problem solving treatment has been used to help treat many types of disorders including depression. By using a telephone to deliver this treatment, the service member’s anonymity will be enhanced (decreasing potential stigma associated with treatment) and the counseling can continue even if the service member is transferred to another base or is discharged from the service.

Data collection ended in December 2014. Staff are currently active checking data, performing data analyses, and generating manuscripts related to the study. Follow the links to view PDFs of the brochures for Madigan Army Medical Center at Ft. Lewis and Womack Army Medical Center at Ft. Bragg.

View a PDF showing early findings about the service members participating in our study and some of the issues that are being addressed during the phone intervention session: CONTACT study early reported findings

Two manuscripts from the study have been published. Follow the links to view PDFs of the articles:
“Do You Hear Me? Three Perspectives on Telehealth Counseling with Service Members” and “Concussion treatment after combat trauma: Development of a telephone based, problem solving intervention for service members.”

For more information, contact:

UW Site Investigator:

Nancy Temkin, PhD
Department of Neurological Surgery
Phone: 206-744-9315

Research Coordinators:

UW: Jef St. De Lore

Madigan: Elissa Thomas

Womack: Wes Cole
Phone: 910-907-7709

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