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PE, CT appear to reduce PTSD symptoms in patients with recent traumatic event

September 18, 2019

Following randomization, 63 participants started PE, 40 started CT, 93 were placed on the waiting list and 46 were in the SSRI and placebo subgroups (23 in each group). At the five-month follow-up, the prevalence of PTSD in the PE and CT groups (21.4 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively) were significantly less than in the WL, SSRI and placebo groups (58.2 percent, 61.9 percent and 55.6 percent, respectively). The analysis showed significant group differences in CAPS and mean (average) PTSD Symptom Scale-Self Report scores at five months, showing fewer PTSD symptoms in the PE and CT groups compared with the WL, SSRI and placebo groups. At the five-month follow-up, 57 WL participants had PTSD and were eligible for delayed PE and 41 started treatment at that time.

At the nine-month follow-up, the prevalence of PTSD in the PE, CT and WL groups were 21.2 percent, 22.8 percent, and 22.9 percent, respectively while rates for the SSRI and placebo subgroups (42.1 percent and 47.1 percent, respectively) remained higher. Analysis also showed significant group differences in CAPS and mean PTSD Symptom Scale-Self Report scores at nine months, showing fewer PTSD symptoms in the PE, CT and WL groups compared with the SSRI and placebo groups. Participants with partial PTSD before treatment onset did similarly well with and without treatment.

"The results of our study show that there are significant and similar preventive effects of PE and CT," the authors conclude. "Our finding suggests that delaying the intervention does not increase the risk of chronic PTSD??¦Thus, a delayed intervention is an acceptable option when early clinical interventions cannot be provided (e.g., during wars, disasters, or continuous hostilities)."

Source: Archives of General Psychiatry