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Seven-day intensive cognitive therapy for PTSD is as effective as weekly cognitive therapy and more effective than weekly supportive therapy
  1. Shannon Wiltsey Stirman
  1. National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, and Boston University, 150 S. Huntington Ave (116B-3), Boston, MA 02130, USA; shannon.wiltsey-stirman@va.gov

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What is already known on this topic?

Cognitive behavioural therapy has been shown to be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when delivered once or twice a week over several months.1 Cognitive therapies for PTSD are effective in reducing symptoms compared with self-help interventions with minimal therapist contact, but there are few comparisons to credible psychotherapy.1 ,2

What does this paper add?

  • Ehlers and colleagues’ study compares an intensive cognitive therapy with a cognitive therapy delivered weekly. It is also one of the first comparisons between a cognitive therapy and supportive therapy for PTSD.

  • The study demonstrates greater symptom reduction and less symptom worsening among patients who received intensive or standard cognitive therapy than those who received supportive therapy. It is also the first study to demonstrate that standard or intensive cognitive therapy results in large increases in quality of life as compared with the other interventions.

  • Intensive cognitive therapy resulted in faster symptom reduction, good engagement and retention, and was well tolerated by …

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