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Behavioral Intervention

Cognitive Training for PTSD (CCTPTSD Trial)

Led By Maya Elin O'Neil, PhD MS
Research Sponsored by VA Office of Research and Development
Eligibility Criteria Checklist
Specific guidelines that determine who can or cannot participate in a clinical trial
Must have
Eligible Veterans must meet DSM-5 criteria for PTSD with evidence-based PTSD treatment participation within the past 2 years
Be older than 18 years old
Must not have
No history of traumatic brain injury (of any severity) or another major medical condition likely to significantly impact cognitive functioning such as stroke, MS, Parkinson's, or a brain tumor
Not currently participating in any type of brain stimulation treatment
Screening 3 weeks
Treatment Varies
Follow Up change from baseline to 3 and 6 months
Awards & highlights


This trial is testing whether an intervention called compensatory cognitive training (CCT) is effective in improving cognitive functioning in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Who is the study for?
This trial is for English-speaking Veterans with PTSD who've had treatment in the last 2 years and still struggle with cognitive issues like memory, attention, or decision-making. They must have a mental health provider and not suffer from severe psychiatric disorders, substance dependence (recent), major brain injuries, or conditions affecting cognition.Check my eligibility
What is being tested?
The study tests Compensatory Cognitive Training (CCT) against usual care to see if CCT can help veterans with PTSD improve their cognitive skills such as concentration and memory. It's a pilot randomized controlled trial preparing for a larger future study.See study design
What are the potential side effects?
Since this trial involves cognitive training rather than medication, traditional side effects are not expected. However, participants may experience frustration or fatigue during training exercises.

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria

You may be eligible if you check “Yes” for the criteria below
I am a veteran diagnosed with PTSD and have been in treatment within the last 2 years.

Exclusion Criteria

You may be eligible for the trial if you check “No” for criteria below:
I have no history of severe brain injuries or diseases affecting my brain function.
I am not undergoing any brain stimulation treatments.
I do not have major hearing or vision problems.


Screening ~ 3 weeks
Treatment ~ Varies
Follow Up ~change from baseline to 3 and 6 months
This trial's timeline: 3 weeks for screening, Varies for treatment, and change from baseline to 3 and 6 months for reporting.

Treatment Details

Study Objectives

Outcome measures can provide a clearer picture of what you can expect from a treatment.
Primary outcome measures
California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT-II; Delis et al., 2000)
Controlled Oral Word Association Test (Benton, Hamsher, & Sivan, 1983)
Halstead Reitan Trailmaking Test (Trails A & B; Reitan & Wolfson, 1985)
+7 more
Secondary outcome measures
Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI; Sheehan et al., 2006)
PTSD Checklist (PCL-5; Weathers et al., 2013)
Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9; Spitzer, Kroenke, & Williams, 1999)

Trial Design

2Treatment groups
Experimental Treatment
Active Control
Group I: Compensatory Cognitive Training (CCT)Experimental Treatment1 Intervention
Compensatory Cognitive Training draws from the theoretical literature on compensatory strategy training for other cognitively impaired populations (e.g., Huckans et al., 2013; Twamley et al., 2010; Storzbach et al., 2016). It is a rehabilitation model that aims to teach individuals strategies that allow them to work around cognitive deficits. Consistent with this model and the expert recommendations for civilians and Service members with TBI (Cicerone, 2011), manualized CCT treatment provides training in compensatory attention and learning/memory skills, formal problem-solving strategies applied to daily problems, and the use of external aids such as calendar systems and assistive devices to promote completion of daily tasks (Storzbach et al., 2016).
Group II: Treatment as Usual (TAU)Active Control1 Intervention
All TAU participants have an ongoing VA mental health provider and received ongoing mental health care during the course of the study (generally weekly individual or group sessions focusing on evidence-based PTSD treatment).

Find a Location

Who is running the clinical trial?

VA Office of Research and DevelopmentLead Sponsor
1,628 Previous Clinical Trials
3,325,943 Total Patients Enrolled
Maya Elin O'Neil, PhD MSPrincipal InvestigatorVA Portland Health Care System, Portland, OR

Media Library

Compensatory Cognitive Training (CCT) (Behavioral Intervention) Clinical Trial Eligibility Overview. Trial Name: NCT03696225 — N/A
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Research Study Groups: Compensatory Cognitive Training (CCT), Treatment as Usual (TAU)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Trial 2023: Compensatory Cognitive Training (CCT) Highlights & Side Effects. Trial Name: NCT03696225 — N/A
Compensatory Cognitive Training (CCT) (Behavioral Intervention) 2023 Treatment Timeline for Medical Study. Trial Name: NCT03696225 — N/A
~1 spots leftby Sep 2024