Official Title
A Brief Phased Two-Step Intervention for Treating General Psychological Distress, PTSD and Co-Morbidities in Healthcare Workers Consequent to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Brief Summary

It is expected that large numbers of healthcare workers will experience a broad range of psychological reactions and symptoms including anxiety, depression, moral distress, and trauma symptoms that will cause both significant suffering as well as occupational and social impairment. The purpose of this study is to find interventions which are helpful in treating psychological distress in healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients. There are two phases of the study. All participants will take part in Phase I, which consists of 4 sessions over a two-week period of either a narrative writing intervention or a medical music intervention. Participants will be randomly assigned to the narrative writing intervention or medical music intervention. After Phase I, participants will be re-assessed. Healthcare workers who meet criteria for PTSD will be given the option to participate in Phase II of the study, in which they will be offered a choice between one of two evidence-based treatments for PTSD: Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) or Exposure Therapy (ET). Both treatments are comprised of ten 75-minute sessions scheduled twice weekly. Participants will be allowed to choose a preferred treatment in Phase II. After Phase II participants will complete a final assessment concluding the study. All interventions will be offered using distance technology.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Moral Injury

Behavioral: Medical Music

Participants randomized to this condition will complete 4 medical music sessions over the course of 2 weeks

Behavioral: Narrative Writing

Participants randomized to this condition will complete 4 narrative writing sessions over the course of 2 weeks

Behavioral: Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Psychotherapy including imaginal exposure for PTSD

Behavioral: Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy that focuses on the effects of PTSD on current interpersonal functioning

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

- Any healthcare worker providing medical care or support for COVID-19 patients

- English-speaking

- Age >18

- Medically stable

- Able to provide informed consent and function at an intellectual level sufficient to
allow accurate completion of all assessment instruments

- If on psychotropic medication stable for prior 60 days

For phase II additional inclusion criteria:

- Current diagnosis of PTSD

Exclusion Criteria:

- Current significant unstable medical illness precluding regular session attendance or
assessment completion

- Participants who in the investigator's judgment pose a current homicidal, suicidal, or
other risk

- Lifetime or current diagnosis of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder

- Participation in a clinical trial or concurrent evidence-based treatment for
psychiatric conditions or PTSD during the previous 3 months.

Eligibility Gender
Eligibility Age
Minimum: 18 Years ~ Maximum: N/A
United States

Weill Cornell Medicine
New York, New York, United States

Investigator: Olivia Baryluk, BS

Investigator: JoAnn Difede, PhD


Olivia Baryluk, BS

JoAnn Difede, PhD, Principal Investigator
Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Weill Medical College of Cornell University
NCT Number
Moral Injury
psychological distress
Healthcare Workers
COVID-19 pandemic
MeSH Terms
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic