Multicomponent behavioral treatment for chronic combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder: A randomized controlled trial, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2011, Vol. 25(2) pp. 224-31
Deborah C. Beidel, B. Christopher Frueh, Thomas W. Uhde, Nina Wong, Janelle M. Mentrikoski
This study examined the efficacy of a multicomponent cognitive-behavioral therapy, Trauma Management Therapy, which combines exposure therapy and social emotional rehabilitation, to exposure therapy only in a group of male combat veterans with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thirty-five male Vietnam veterans with PTSD were randomly assigned to receive either Trauma Management Therapy (TMT) or Exposure Therapy Only (EXP). Participants were assessed at pre-treatment, mid-treatment, and post-treatment. Primary clinical outcomes were reduction of PTSD symptoms and improved social emotional functioning. Results indicated that veterans in both conditions showed statistically significant and clinically meaningful reductions in PTSD symptoms from pre- to post-treatment, though consistent with a priori hypotheses there were no group differences on PTSD variables. However, compared to the EXP group, participants in the TMT group showed increased frequency in social activities and greater time spent in social activities. These changes occurred from mid-treatment (after completion of exposure therapy) to post-treatment (after completion of the social emotional rehabilitation component); supporting the hypothesis that TMT alone would result in improved social functioning. Although the TMT group also had a significant decrease in episodes of physical rage, that change occurred prior to introduction of the social emotional component of TMT. This study demonstrates efficacy of exposure therapy for treating the core symptoms of PTSD among combat veterans with a severe and chronic form of this disorder. Moreover, multi-component CBT shows promise for improving social functioning beyond that provided by exposure therapy alone, particularly by increasing social engagement/interpersonal functioning in a cohort of veterans with severe and chronic PTSD.
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