Dialectical behavior therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood sexual abuse: A pilot study of an intensive residential treatment program

Authors

  • Regina Steil,

    Corresponding author
    1. Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. Regina Steil, Anne Dyer, Kathlen Priebe, Nikolaus Kleindienst, and Martin Bohus, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.
    • Department of Clinical Psychology and Intervention, Institute of Psychology, Goethe University, Frankfurt Postfach 11 19 32, Fach 120 60054, Frankfurt Main, Germany.
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  • Anne Dyer,

    1. Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. Regina Steil, Anne Dyer, Kathlen Priebe, Nikolaus Kleindienst, and Martin Bohus, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.
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    • The first two authors contributed equally.

  • Kathlen Priebe,

    1. Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. Regina Steil, Anne Dyer, Kathlen Priebe, Nikolaus Kleindienst, and Martin Bohus, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.
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  • Nikolaus Kleindienst,

    1. Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. Regina Steil, Anne Dyer, Kathlen Priebe, Nikolaus Kleindienst, and Martin Bohus, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.
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  • Martin Bohus

    1. Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. Regina Steil, Anne Dyer, Kathlen Priebe, Nikolaus Kleindienst, and Martin Bohus, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.
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  • The authors thank Kerstin Stickel and Sina Baumgaertner for their contributions.

Abstract

Dialectical behavior therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (DBT-PTSD) is tailored for adults with PTSD from childhood sexual abuse (CSA). It uses principles from DBT and trauma-focused cognitive–behavioral approaches. To evaluate acceptance and safety, the authors treated 29 women with chronic CSA-related PTSD plus at least one other comorbid diagnosis. The Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS), Symptom Checklist 90-Revised, Beck Depression Inventory, and State Trait Anxiety Inventory were administered prior to, at the end of, and 6 weeks after 3 months of intensive residential treatment. An effect size of 1.22 on the PDS was found between baseline and follow-up. Effect sizes for secondary outcomes ranged from medium to large. The results suggest that DBT-PTSD has promise for reducing severe and chronic PTSD after CSA.

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