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J Trauma Stress. 2006 Feb;19(1):29-43.

An evaluation of three brief programs for facilitating recovery after assault.

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  • 1Center for Treatment and Study of Anxiety, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 19104, USA.


Ninety female recent assault survivors who met symptom criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were randomized to one of three interventions: Brief Cognitive Behavioral Intervention, which focused on processing the traumatic event (B-CBT); assessment condition (AC); or supportive counseling (SC). Within 4 weeks of an assault, participants met weekly with a therapist for four 2-hr sessions. Across all interventions, participants reported decreases in PTSD symptoms, depression, and anxiety over time. At postintervention, participants in B-CBT reported greater decreases in self-reported PTSD severity and a trend toward lower anxiety than those in SC. At 3-month follow-up, participants in B-CBT evidenced lower general anxiety than those in SC and a trend toward lower self-reported PTSD severity. At last available follow-up (on average, 9-months postassault), all three interventions were generally similar in outcome. These findings suggest that a trauma-focused intervention aimed at those with severe PTSD symptoms after an assault can accelerate recovery.

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