Study Seeks to Understand Causes of Self-Harm Among Veterans with PTSD

Research Center: VA Connecticut Healthcare System
Location: 950 Campbell Ave, West Haven, CT 06516, United States
Lead Researcher: Lorig Kachadourian, PhD
IRB Committee: This study has been reviewed and approved by VA Connecticut Institutional Review Board


PTSD is one of the most widespread mental health disorders that affect military Veterans. PTSD is linked to several negative health outcomes, including self-harm behaviors. These behaviors are associated with suicide and are considered a significant risk factor. Thus there is an urgency to provide helpful options by looking into the factors that may increase Veterans’ chances of engaging in self-harm behaviors.

This study seeks to gather information on whether doing online assessments daily can be potentially useful to Veterans with PTSD who engage in self-harm behaviors. Through the data obtained in this study, researchers may provide potential options for those who engage in self-harm, particularly Veterans with PTSD.  

This study is looking for Veterans aged 18 to 60 years old who have PTSD and engage in acts of self-harm. Participants must be willing to comply with all study requirements for over 28 days. Eligible participants will be compensated for their participation in this study.

Why Participate? 

  • You may contribute valuable information that may help others with PTSD. 
  • You will be helping to advance mental health research.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you may withdraw at any time.
  • Your records relating to this study and any other information received will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law.
  • Qualified health professionals will monitor your health as it relates to the study.

Who Can Participate?

  • Veterans aged 18 to 60 years old who have PTSD and a history of self-harm with no intention of suicide.
  • Participants must be willing to comply with the following study requirements for over 28 days:
    • Participants must be willing to attend a final eligibility session to be held at the research center. After this session, the study will be conducted through the participant’s smartphone or computer with access to the internet.
    • Participants must be willing to receive automated text messages at 4 random times in a day (between 8AM to 10PM). These text messages will inform the participants to complete a brief daily survey on their smartphone or computer with access to the internet. 
    • Participants must answer brief daily online surveys that will take about 5-10 minutes to complete.
    • Participants must be willing to answer a follow-up phone call after completion of the 28-day assessment period.  


About The Research Center:

VA Connecticut Healthcare System
To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.VA Connecticut encompasses an inpatient facility and Ambulatory Care Center in West Haven; an Ambulatory Care Center in Newington; and six primary care Community Based Outpatient Clinics.


Please note:
Due to the current situation with COVID-19 pandemic, the study team would like to point out the following:

  • Participants will be asked to wear a face mask during in-person sessions held at the West Haven VA Medical Center.
  • The research site is spacious enough that participants will not be within close proximity to each other. The in-person sessions will be held in rooms that will allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • Hand sanitisers are available at the research site.
  • The research staff adheres to strict hygienic practices as well as other safety measures (like wearing of face coverings and the like) to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Interested participants will not be left waiting for a long period of time and will be quickly attended to. 
  • The West Haven VA Medical Center is taking all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the study participants.

What Next?

  1. Click the link below to enter your contact details and answer some eligibility questions.
  2. The research centre will then contact you by phone to discuss the trial and answer your questions.
Click Here to Check Your Eligibility