Group Exposure Therapy Treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Female Veterans

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Group exposure therapy model, Post-traumatic stress disorder

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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the application of a group exposure therapy model, the content of which consisted solely of repeated imaginal exposure during sessions, in a clinical sample of female veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Establishing group delivery of exposure therapy will expand options, increase efficiency, and introduce group curative factors. Methods: Eighty-eight female veterans with PTSD completed a six-session exposure group, three participants per group, as a component of a larger treatment program. The PTSD symptom checklist (PCL) was used as the outcome measure and administered in each session. Results: Pre/post-paired t-tests showed significant improvement in PTSD on the PCL, with 40% of completers showing at least a 10-point drop in the PCL scores. In addition, a repeated measures analysis of variance showed a significant main effect and a significant quadratic equation, with expected initial increases in the PCL followed by a decrease below baseline at session 6. Conclusions: The group exposure treatment protocol showed positive outcomes on PTSD symptoms in a real-world clinical sample of female veterans. The implications include an expansion of exposure treatment choices for veterans with PTSD and increased options for therapists.

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Military Medicine, v. 177, issue 12, p.1486-1491