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Combined imaginal exposure and cognitive restructuring therapy is more effective than supportive counselling for treating post-traumatic stress disorder

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Q For people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), does cognitive restructuring with prolonged imaginal exposure lead to greater symptom relief than imaginal exposure alone?

METHODS

Embedded Image  Design:

Randomised controlled trial.

Embedded Image  Allocation:

Concealed.

Embedded Image  Blinding:

Assessors blinded to treatment.

Embedded Image  Follow up period:

Six months.

Embedded Image  Setting:

Hospital PTSD unit, Sydney, Australia.

Embedded Image  Patients:

58 people referred to PTSD unit after non-sexual assault or traffic accident, displaying PTSD (DSM-IV criteria) ≥ 3 months. Exclusions: history of psychosis, substance dependence, childhood sexual abuse, current suicidal ideation, or aged <17 or >60 years.

Embedded Image  Intervention:

Imaginal exposure; imaginal exposure plus cognitive restructuring; or supportive counselling for 8 weekly 90 minute sessions with daily homework.

Embedded Image  Outcomes:

PTSD symptoms assessed using clinician administered PTSD scale. …

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