A Randomized Clinical Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders in Women

2014-08-27 03:56:17 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of the proposed DVA cooperative study is to evaluate the efficacy of exposure therapy for treating PTSD and associated problems in female veterans and active duty military personnel. We propose to compare exposure therapy, Prolonged Exposure, with a comparison therapy that focuses on current problems, Present Centered Therapy.

The study is a randomized clinical trial involving 384 female veterans and active duty personnel in 11 VA medical centers and 1 DoD medical center. All subjects, even self-referrals, will enter the study through referrals by mental health clinicians at the participating sites. Following informed consent, subjects will be screened for inclusion and exclusion diagnoses. If they meet these criteria and agree to participate, they will be randomly assigned to one of the two treatments, which will occur weekly for 10 weeks. Subjects will be assessed before treatment, immediately following treatment, and 3 and 6 months after the end of treatment. The primary outcome is PTSD severity. Secondary outcomes are anxiety and depression. Exploratory outcomes include associated features of PTSD, such as dissociation and substance abuse; psychosocial functioning, quality of life, physical health, satisfaction with treatment, and service utilization. Both treatments will be described in detail in a treatment manual and monitored intensively to ensure that they are administered correctly.


Intervention: Patients will be randomized to one of two interventions: Prolonged Exposure (PE) consisting of 10 weekly treatment sessions that include education about and exposure to the memories of the trauma to which the patient was engaged; or Present Center Therapy (PCT), which will consist of a control therapy of the same duration that will provide emotional support for the trauma victim.

Primary Hypothesis: Prolonged Exposure (PE) will be more effective than Present-Centered Therapy (PCT) for the treatment of PTSD due to military-related trauma in women veterans. PE specifically targets PTSD symptoms, and the CAPS, our primary outcome measure. The Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) is considered to be the gold-standard for PTSD assessment.

Secondary Hypothesis: PE will be more effective than PCT for treating the anxiety and depression that often are comorbid with PTSD.

Study Abstract: As noted in a recent report on the VA Women's Health Project, it is important to study women veterans because they are increasingly seeking VA health care. For many women veterans, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a specific healthcare concern that is associated with substantial psychosocial and functional disability.

The study was proposed in response to the Research Priority Announcement on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder research issued August 1, 1997, as a study aimed a special subpopulation of VA patients with PTSD: women veterans who have been traumatized during their military service.

The first planning meeting for the study was held January 20-21, 2000 in Washington, DC. The protocol was submitted on August 1, 2000; it was reviewed and approved by the Cooperative Studies Evaluation Committee on October 10, 2000. Intake of training cases is expected to begin 01/01/2002.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Investigator), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic


Prolonged Exposure, Present Centered Therapy


VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, Denver
United States




Department of Veterans Affairs

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:56:17-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A class of traumatic stress disorders that is characterized by the significant dissociative states seen immediately after overwhelming trauma. By definition it cannot last longer than 1 month, if it persists, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (STRESS DISORDERS, POST-TRAUMATIC) is more appropriate.

A class of traumatic stress disorders with symptoms that last more than one month. There are various forms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depending on the time of onset and the duration of these stress symptoms. In the acute form, the duration of the symptoms is between 1 to 3 months. In the chronic form, symptoms last more than 3 months. With delayed onset, symptoms develop more than 6 months after the traumatic event.

The prevention of infection or disease following exposure to a pathogen. This is most frequently addressed by administering a vaccine or anti-viral medication following exposure to a virus.

A condition of the feet produced by prolonged exposure of the feet to water. Exposure for 48 hours or more to warm water causes tropical immersion foot or warm-water immersion foot common in Vietnam where troops were exposed to prolonged or repeated wading in paddy fields or streams. Trench foot results from prolonged exposure to cold, without actual freezing. It was common in trench warfare during World War I, when soldiers stood, sometimes for hours, in trenches with a few inches of cold water in them. (Andrews' Diseases of the Skin, 8th ed, p27)

Syndromes which feature DYSKINESIAS as a cardinal manifestation of the disease process. Included in this category are degenerative, hereditary, post-infectious, medication-induced, post-inflammatory, and post-traumatic conditions.

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