Category: Anger

Symposium

How Well Do Evidence-Based PTSD Treatment for PTSD Treat Anger?

Saturday, November 18
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Cobalt 501, Level 5, Cobalt Level

Keywords: Anger / Irritability | Trauma | Evidence-Based Practice
Presentation Type: Symposium

Dysregulated anger is one of the most common symptoms motivating treatment seeking. While evidence based treatments for PTSD have been broadly disseminated, additional treatment option that directly targets anger among Veterans with PTSD is warranted. The present study is a secondary data analysis of three large PTSD trials looking at how evidenced-based PTSD treatments (Cognitive Processing Therapy; CPT and Prolonged Exposure, PE) reduce clinically relevant anger symptoms. All participants met criteria for PTSD as part of clinical trials studying the use of telehealth to provide CPT (125 male veterans; 126 female veterans and civilians) and an ongoing study of PE for PTSD (n = 168). In the Men’s CPT study, 70% reported clinically relevant anger at baseline and 69-72% still reported at that level immediately post-treatments. Among those who reported dysregulated anger, mean reductions on the STAXI were d = .48, .45, and .27, at post-treatment, 3-month, and 6-month interviews. In the Women’s CPT study, 45% reported clinically importance levels of anger at baseline and at follow-up 35-37% continued to have anger problems. Among those with dysregulated anger, mean reductions on the STAXI were d = .07, .17 and .42 at post-treatment, 3-month and 6-month interviews. These findings highlight that significant proportions of men and women with PTSD report clinically important levels of anger, which are not being adequately addressed by our best-practice PTSD interventions. Results will be discussed in the context of best-practice guidelines for PTSD treatment.

Leslie Morland

Director of TMH for San Diego VA Health Care System (VASDHCS); Associate Professor of Psychiatry
San Diego VA Health Care System; University of CA, San Diego

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