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WCW Associate Research Scientist Katherine R. Buchholz, Ph.D., and her colleague, Associate Professor of Psychology at Pacific Lutheran University, Tiffany Artime, Ph.D., have been approved for a $2.5 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to implement an evidence-based treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in university counseling centers (UCCs).

“We’re excited to collaborate with UCCs to increase access to evidence-based trauma treatments for students,” said Buchholz, who works on WCW’s Depression Prevention Research Initiative. “This project will help to bridge the gap between research and practice in UCCs, bringing a treatment with years of clinical research behind it to those who can benefit from it.”

The treatment, Skills Training in Affect and Interpersonal Regulation with Narrative Therapy (STAIR-NT), was developed to address PTSD and has demonstrated efficacy in several randomized controlled trials and across many populations exposed to trauma. Buchholz, Artime, and their team will adapt it to the college counseling setting, implementing STAIR in 31 UCCs across the United States. 

“This project is part of a portfolio of PCORI-funded projects that aim to improve the awareness, uptake and use of results from patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research,” said PCORI Executive Director Nakela L. Cook, M.D., MPH. “Through a highly competitive review process, awardees’ proposals were assessed for the importance of the findings being shared and implemented and the potential for the project to lead to changes in practice and improvements in health care and health outcomes.”

Led by Buchholz and Artime, the leadership team, including STAIR developer Marylene Cloitre, Ph.D., of the National Center for PTSD Dissemination and Training Division, will refine a culturally informed adaptation of STAIR that was developed for implementation in UCCs during a previous project.

The researchers plan to train 345 UCC providers in 31 centers, providing STAIR to an estimated 5,100 student clients, using an approach accommodating to the academic schedule and responsive to the unique contextual and developmental aspects of college counseling. By using ongoing evaluation to assess clinical and implementation outcomes, the project will establish pathways for scaling up its implementation across UCCs in the United States.

Buchholz and Artime’s funding award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress with a mission to fund patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research that provides patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information they need to make better informed health and healthcare decisions.

For more information about PCORI’s funding to support implementation efforts, visit  

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