Brief Restructuring Intervention Following Trauma Exposure

2016-06-21 19:08:22 | BioPortfolio


The broad aim of this study is to develop and test a brief intervention that can be implemented in the immediate weeks following sexual assault to decrease likelihood of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or alcohol misuse. The first phase of the study will enroll 6 women to complete a brief, cognitive therapy protocol and provide feedback on the intervention (open trial). The second phase of the study will recruit 76 women to complete either the intervention (38 women) or assessment only (38 women) to test the effects of the intervention on both PTSD symptoms and alcohol use behavior as compared to natural recovery following assault.


Following sexual assault a substantial number of victims will go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or alcohol use disorders (AUD), and development of these disorders is costly to both the victim and society as a whole. Intervening early, in the initial weeks following sexual assault, can provide victims with coping strategies that can decrease the likelihood of developing chronic symptoms. Cognitive approaches for treating symptoms of PTSD have strong empirical support with chronic presentation of symptoms. Less is known about effective strategies for intervening acutely following sexual assault. This project is designed to adapt existing empirically supported cognitive treatment principles for both PTSD and AUD symptoms to be delivered acutely (within 6 weeks of assault) in a brief one session format followed by 4 weekly coaching calls. The first 6 participants enrolled will receive the intervention and provide us with feedback on strengths and weaknesses of the protocol to help us improve it (Open Trial). In the next phase, the pilot testing phase, the study will enroll 38 women to complete the one session intervention followed by 4 once per week coaching calls. Participants will then be assessed again for symptoms of PTSD and alcohol use behavior at post treatment and 3 month follow-up. This brief intervention group will be compared at both post assessment and the 12 week follow-up to a group of 38 women who receive weekly symptom monitoring only. Thus, this research aims to provide information on the efficacy of the intervention compared to the natural recovery process. This research is significant in its potential to use a very brief and easy to access treatment to decrease the development of chronic psychopathology in a high risk group of women.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


Brief Cognitive Therapy


University of Washington
United States




University of Washington

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2016-06-21T19:08:22-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A direct form of psychotherapy based on the interpretation of situations (cognitive structure of experiences) that determine how an individual feels and behaves. It is based on the premise that cognition, the process of acquiring knowledge and forming beliefs, is a primary determinant of mood and behavior. The therapy uses behavioral and verbal techniques to identify and correct negative thinking that is at the root of the aberrant behavior.

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.

Treatment to improve one's health condition by using techniques that can reduce PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS; PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS; or both.

The enhancement of physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills so an individual may participate in chosen activities. Recreational modalities are used in designed intervention strategies, incorporating individual's interests to make the therapy process meaningful and relevant.

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.

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