Long-term outcomes of cognitive–behavioral treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder among female rape survivors.
- Objective: We conducted a long-term follow-up (LTFU) assessment of participants from a randomized controlled trial comparing cognitive processing therapy (CPT) with prolonged exposure (PE) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Competing hypotheses for positive outcomes (i.e., additional therapy, medication) were examined. Method: Intention-to-treat (ITT) participants were assessed 5–10 years after participating in the study (M = 6.15, SD = 1.22). We attempted to locate the 171 original participants, women with PTSD who had experienced at least one rape. Of 144 participants located, 87.5% were reassessed (N = 126), which constituted 73.7% of the original ITT sample. Self-reported PTSD symptoms were the primary outcome. Clinician-rated PTSD symptoms, comorbid diagnoses, and self-reported depression were secondary outcomes. Results: Substantial decreases in symptoms due to treatment (as reported in Resick, Nishith, Weaver, Astin, & Feuer, 2002) were maintained throughout the LTFU period, as evidenced by little change over time from posttreatment through follow-up (effect sizes ranging from pr = .03 to .14). No significant differences emerged during the LTFU between the treatment conditions (Cohen’s d = 0.06–0.29). The ITT examination of diagnostics indicated that 22.2% of CPT and 17.5% of PE participants met the diagnosis for PTSD according to the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (Blake et al., 1995) at the LTFU. Maintenance of improvements could not be attributed to further therapy or medications. Conclusions: CPT and PE resulted in lasting changes in PTSD and related symptoms over an extended period of time for female rape victims with extensive histories of trauma.
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