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Keywords:

  • PTSD;
  • EMDR;
  • treatment;
  • combat veterans

Abstract

Despite the clinical and social impact of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there are few controlled studies investigating its treatment. In this investigation, the effectiveness of two psychotherapeutic interventions for PTSD were compared using a randomized controlled outcome group design. Thirty five combat veterans diagnosed with combat-related PTSD were treated with either (a) 12 sessions of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, EMDR (n = 10), (b) 12 sessions of biofeedback-assisted relaxation (n = 13), or (c) routine clinical care, serving as a control (n = 12). Compared with the other conditions, significant treatment effects in the EMDR condition were obtained at posttreatment on a number of self-report, psychometric, and standardized interview measures. Relative to the other treatment group, these effects were generally maintained at 3-month follow-up. Psychophysiological measures reflected an apparent habituation effect from pretreatment to posttreatment but were not differentially affected by treatment condition.