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J Anxiety Disord. 2007;21(8):1050-60. Epub 2007 Jan 10.

Efficacy of interoceptive exposure therapy combined with trauma-related exposure therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: a pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


The aim of this case series was to examine efficacy of interoceptive exposure (IE) combined with trauma-related exposure therapy (TRE) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Seven participants completed treatment consisting of four weekly sessions of IE followed by eight weekly sessions of TRE (four sessions of imaginal exposure and four sessions of in vivo exposure). Assessments were conducted at pretreatment, posttreatment, 1- and 3-month follow-up. Outcome measures included PTSD symptoms, anxiety sensitivity, posttraumatic cognitions, anxiety, and depression. Five of the seven participants showed pre- to posttreatment improvements on these measures, and two participants showed less symptom reduction. Results at the 1-month follow-up showed that treatment gains were generally maintained in five (of the seven) participants and four of these individuals no longer met PTSD diagnostic criteria. Four individuals completed the 3-month follow-up and their symptoms and diagnostic status remained unchanged. These preliminary findings are promising. The next step in this line of research is to conduct a randomized, controlled trial to further to examine the efficacy, tolerability, and mechanisms of using IE in the treatment of PTSD.

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