Category: Treatment - CBT

Symposium

The Science Is Chasing the Practice: Outcome of Group CBT for Chronic PTSD

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom K & L, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Stress | Group Therapy | Veterans
Presentation Type: Symposium

Despite significant advances in individual CBT approaches for the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the development and testing of group CBT approaches has lagged in the research literature. Patient preferences, as well as care demands for mental health problems in large care systems, often drive the use of group-based interventions, none of which are yet “empirically supported” owing to delayed developments in research. In many respects, the science is lagging behind the practice of group treatments in this domain.


In this paper, we will describe the short-term outcome results of a two-site RCT comparing a Group CBT (GCBT) with Group Present Centered Therapy (GPCT) for chronic PTSD. GCBT included exposure, cognitive restructuring, anxiety management, and activity scheduling, in addition to nurturing group cohesion. GPCT included psychoeducation, peer support, and peer-facilitated problem solving and has been shown to be effective at reducing PTSD. The sample included 198 male veterans, the majority of whom were Caucasian with an average age of 55. Assessments occurred pre-, mid-, and post-treatment and at 3 months FU. No significant Condition x Time interactions were noted for PTSD, depression, or anxiety, although a significant Time effect was found for each domain. Within-group effect sizes for PTSD were equivalent (GCBT d= 0.50; GPCT d= 0.53). Results will be discussed in light of group treatment recommendations for practice, as well as urgent research needs in this area. Expanding our knowledge of group treatments for PTSD reflects a salient domain where science is behind practice, with significant implications for the standard of care for many patients. 

J. Gayle Beck

Lillian and Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence
University of Memphis

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