Does cognitive–behavioral therapy for PTSD improve perceived health and sleep impairment?


  • This work was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant R01-MH51509 awarded to Patricia A. Resick at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. We thank all of the contributors to this work including the assessors, therapists, research assistants, and fidelity raters. We also thank the brave women who participated in this research.


There is a paucity of empirical study about the effects of evidence-based psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on concurrent health concerns including sleep impairment. This study compares the differential effects of cognitive processing therapy (CPT) and prolonged exposure (PE) on health-related concerns and sleep impairment within a PTSD sample of female, adult rape survivors (N = 108). Results showed that participants in both treatments reported lower health-related concerns over treatment and follow-up, but there were relatively more improvements in the CPT condition. Examination of sleep quality indicated significant improvement in both CPT and PE across treatment and follow-up and no significant differences between treatments. These results are discussed with regard to the different mechanisms thought to underlie the treatments and future innovations in PTSD treatment.