Of the potential answers, cognitive behavioral therapy has been studied to the greatest extent and has proven efficacy in treating PTSD and acute stress disorder.8 It ideally should be initiated within a month after a traumatic event.8 Although the case patient has had symptoms for a year, cognitive behavioral therapy would still be effective, but earlier treatment is better. Trauma-focused psychodynamic therapy would also help this patient but is less effective for reducing PTSD symptoms as compared with cognitive behavioral therapy.9,10 Although brief counseling may be helpful, more intense counseling services are generally needed in patients with PTSD.9,10 Psychological debriefing may augment symptoms and is ineffective in preventing PTSD and in improving social functioning.9,10
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
8. van Emmerik AA, Kamphuis JH, Emmelkamp PM. Treating acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder with cognitive behavioral therapy or structured writing therapy: a randomized controlled trial. Psychother Psychosom 2008;77:93–100.
9. Bisson J, Andrew M. Psychological treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007;(3):CD003388.
10. Sherman JJ. Effects of psychotherapeutic treatments for PTSD: a meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials. J Trauma Stress 1998;11:413–35.
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Seminars in Medical Practice
Hospital Physician Board Review Manuals
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Updated 12/18/08 nvf