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Early interventions for PTSD: a review

Author(s)Kearns, Megan C., Kerry J. Ressler, Doug Zatzick and Barbara Olasov Rothbaum
Title Early interventions for PTSD: a review
Source Depression and Anxiety, October 2012, Vol. 29, No. 10, pp 833-842
Date 2012
Document type Journal article
Summary The authors in this article review the literature on early interventions for PTSD. Several critical reviews have concluded that Psychological Debriefing does not prevent PTSD and in fact may interfere with the natural recovery process. Other brief psychological interventions, such as memory-structuring and psycho-education are examined. A number of studies have examined the effectiveness of using CBT to treat chronic PTSD and researchers are now examining the effectiveness of CBT for early intervention. For example, one study found that using CBT in a sample of female sexual assault victims found that the intervention produced lower rates of PTSD and anxiety compared to supportive counselling after two months. Other studies have confirmed the efficacy of CBT applied in the first month after trauma in preventing chronic PTSD. The authors conclude that progress has been made in identifying victims at risk of developing PTSD and in developing effective interventions but more research is needed to replicate initial studies. It is also recommended that future research explores who needs intervention after trauma compared to those who will recover spontaneously.
Keywords Early intervention; PTSD; risk factors; CBT; Psychological Debriefing
Topic Psychological effects and treatment