DO COGNITIVE AND EXPOSURE TREATMENTS IMPROVE VARIOUS PTSD SYMPTOMS DIFFERENTLY? A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
This study (part of a larger one whose main outcomes were reported by Marks, Lovell, Noshirvani, Thrasher, & Livanou, 1998) investigated the impact of exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring alone and combined on the individual symptoms of PTSD and on associated features. Exposure therapy was expected to act mainly on fear and avoidance, and cognitive restructuring mainly on detachment, restricted range of affect, and associated features of PTSD. Seventy-seven PTSD outpatients were randomly allocated to one of four treatments: 1) exposure alone; 2) cognitive restructuring alone; 3) combined exposure and cognitive restructuring; or 4) relaxation (placebo control). The active treatments were superior to relaxation in improving clusters of PTSD symptoms and associated features and some but not all individual symptoms and associated features of PTSD. Exposure and cognitive restructuring improved almost all individual symptoms similarly.
Key Words: Posttraumatic stress disorder; treatment; behavioural and cognitive treatments.
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