A pilot study of a 12-week model of group-based exposure therapy for veterans with PTSD

Authors

  • Roy John Sutherland,

    Corresponding author
    1. Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA
    2. Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. HealthEast Care System, St. Joseph's Hospital, St. Paul, MN.
    • HealthEast Care System, St. Joseph's Hospital, Mental Health and Addiction Service Clinic, 45F 10th Street g7000, St. Paul, MN 55102.
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    • Roy John Sutherland and Juliette M. Mott contributed equally to this work.

  • Juliette M. Mott,

    1. Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA
    2. Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
    3. South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Houston, Texas, USA
    4. Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies, Houston, Texas, USA
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    • Roy John Sutherland and Juliette M. Mott contributed equally to this work.

  • Stacey Holmes Lanier,

    1. Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA
    2. Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
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  • Wright Williams,

    1. Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA
    2. Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
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  • David J. Ready,

    1. Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    2. Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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  • Ellen J. Teng

    1. Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA
    2. Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
    3. South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Houston, Texas, USA
    4. Houston Center for Quality of Care and Utilization Studies, Houston, Texas, USA
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Abstract

Group-based exposure therapy (GBET) is an intensive group treatment that targets posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms through repeated imaginal and in vivo exposure. The purpose of the present study was to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a modified 12-week course of GBET (modified from the standard 16 weeks) and to examine its effectiveness in reducing veterans' PTSD symptoms. Participants were 10 male Operation Iraqi Freedom and Vietnam-era veterans recruited from a PTSD specialty clinic at a large Veterans Affairs Medical Center. All participants were retained and demonstrated clinically significant reductions in PTSD symptoms (η2 = .84–.87) comparable to the standard protocol. The findings from this small sample indicate that the abbreviated 12-week GBET protocol is a potentially effective treatment for PTSD.

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