Posttraumatic Stress Research (53)
Researchers from several health institutions in Japan, in conjunction with Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield Iowa, examined changes in self-reported stress symptoms in 171 residents of two cities (Sendai and Ishinomaki) directly affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.
The experimental group was given instruction in the Transcendental Meditation(®) technique and compared with 326 non-disaster Tokyo participants who were previously tested before and after they learned the technique, as well as a no-treatment control group (n = 68).
The participants completed a rating checklist of mental and physical symptoms.
Researchers from Budapest, Hungary analyzed the evidence regarding efficacy of preventative treatments, delivered immediately after a traumatic event, designed to prevent the later acquisition of posttraumatic stress.
A search was conducted in ProQuest, PILOTS, PubMed, and Web of Science for studies published between 2005 and 2015.
Twenty-one trials were identified, of which 6 presented interventions delivered within 72 hours post trauma, and the rest delivered within the first month.
Researchers from Shihezi University in China analyzed the literature and conducted a meta-analysis to compare the efficacy of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for adult posttraumatic stress disorder.
They searched Medline, PubMed, Ebsco, Proquest, and Cochrane (1989-2013) to identify relevant randomized control trials comparing EMDR and CBT for PTSD. They included 11 studies (N = 424).
Although all the studies had methodological limitations, meta-analyses for total PTSD scores revealed that EMDR was slightly superior to CBT.
Researchers from the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System conducted a randomized clinical trial comparing mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) with present-centered group therapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress (PTSD).
One hundred sixteen veterans with PTSD were recruited at the Minneapolis V.A. from March 2012 to December 2013. Outcomes were assessed before, during, and after treatment and at 2-month follow-up. Data collection was completed on April 22, 2014.
Participants were randomly assigned to receive mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy (n = 58), consisting of 9 sessions (8 weekly 2.5-hour group sessions and a day-long retreat) focused on teaching patients to attend to the present moment in a nonjudgmental, accepting manner; or present-centered group therapy (n = 58), an active-control condition consisting of 9 weekly 1.5-hour group sessions focused on current life problems.
Researchers from New York University, Boston University, the Boston VA Hospital and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research examined the effectiveness of psychotherapies for PTSD in military and veteran populations. First-line psychotherapies most often recommended for PTSD consist mainly of "trauma-focused" psychotherapies that involve focusing on details of the trauma or associated cognitive and emotional effects.
The investigators searched PubMed, PsycINFO, and PILOTS for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of individual and group psychotherapies for PTSD in military personnel and veterans, published from January 1980 to March 1, 2015.
They also searched reference lists of articles, selected reviews, and meta-analyses. Of 891 publications initially identified, 36 were included.
Researchers from Syracuse University looked at how to reduce the adrenergized alarm state experienced by veterans with PTSD, a hypothalamic pituitary axis dysfunction that is reflected in measurable cortisol output.
Knowing that many veterans with PTSD are hesitant to engage in distressing, triggering trauma-focused exposure treatments, these investigators explored the impact that non-exposure-based treatments, briefer in duration might have.
One such promising approach is an abbreviated, Primary Care, 4-week, brief Mindfulness Program (PCbMP).
This study may be an indirect chide to the research community for continuing to lean toward studies on the effectiveness of exposure therapy and CBT for PTS when EMDR (eye movement desensitization & reprocessing) may perform even better.
In a review and meta-analysis out of Sao Paolo, Brazil, investigators compared cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to cognitive therapy (CT) and exposure therapy (ET) for the treatment of posttraumatic stress (PTSD).
Studies were gathered from the Cochrane, Embase and Medline databases. Studies were required to be randomized controlled trials (RCT’s), published between 2006 and 2012, comparing CBT, CT, or ET with (1) each other, (2) other active treatments (e.g., EMDR, counseling, supportive therapy), or (3) assessment-only or wait list conditions. The main outcome measures were diagnostic changes and symptomatic remission.
The final sample contained 29 articles. CBT, CT, and ET were each shown to be efficacious treatments when compared to wait list/no treatment conditions, and no differences were found between these methods.
Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor investigated the feasibility, appeal, and clinical efficacy of an MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) group intervention, adapted for combat-related posttraumatic stress, or PTSD, as the VA still calls it.
Consecutive patients seeking treatment for chronic PTSD at a VA outpatient clinic were enrolled in 8-week MBCT groups, modified for posttraumatic stress (four groups, n = 20) or brief treatment-as-usual (TAU) comparison group interventions (three groups, n = 17).
Pre- and post-therapy psychological assessments used the CAPS scale (clinician administered PTSD scale) on all patients. In addition, the MBCT groups filled out , self-report measures (the PTSD diagnostic scale, PDS, and the posttraumatic cognitions inventory, PTCI).
Researchers from the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System assessed therapist and patient outcomes from a national training initiative with eleven cohorts (391 therapists and 745 depressed patients) across the country in using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression or ACT-D.
Three-hundred thirty four therapists successfully completed the requirements of the ACT-D training program.
Ninety-six percent of therapists achieved competency by the end of training, as compared to 21% at the outset of training.
Mixed effects model analysis indicated therapists' overall ACT-D competency scores increased from 76 to 112 (conditional SD = 6.6), p < 0.001.
Researchers from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, WA assessed outcomes resulting from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for 47 veterans with PTSD, depression and quality of life.
The subjects were randomized to treatment as usual (TAU; n = 22), or MBSR plus TAU (n = 25), and assessed at baseline, post-treatment, and 4-month follow-up.
Intention-to-treat analyses found no reliable effects of MBSR on PTSD or depression. Quality of life improved at posttreatment but there was no reliable effect at 4 months.