A Randomized Clinical Trial of Cognitive Processing Therapy for Veterans With PTSD Related to Military Sexual Trauma

Alina M Suris, Jessica Link-Malcolm, Kathleen Chard, Chul Ahn, Carol S North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this randomized controlled clinical trial, the authors evaluated the effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy (CPT) in the treatment of self-reported and clinician-assessed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to military sexual trauma (MST), along with depressive symptoms. Eighty-six veterans (73 female, 13 male) randomly assigned to receive 12 individual sessions of either CPT or present-centered therapy (PCT) were included in analyses. Blinded assessments occurred at baseline, posttreatment, and 2, 4, and 6 months posttreatment. Mixed-effects model analysis revealed a significant interaction between groups (p = .05, d = -0.85): At posttreatment, veterans who received CPT had a significantly greater reduction in self-reported, but not clinician-assessed, PTSD symptom severity compared to veterans who received PCT. All three primary outcome measures improved significantly, both clinically and statistically, across time in both treatment groups. Pre- and posttreatment effect sizes were mostly moderate to large (d = 0.30-1.02) and trended larger in the CPT group. Although the study was impacted by treatment fidelity issues, results provide preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of CPT in reducing self-reported PTSD symptoms in a population of veterans with MST, expanding on established literature that has demonstrated the effectiveness of CPT in treating PTSD related to sexual assault in civilian populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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