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Behav Res Ther. 2007 Dec;45(12):2861-73. Epub 2007 May 31.

An analog study of patient preferences for exposure versus alternative treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder.

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Department of Psychology, Trinity University, One Trinity Place, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200, USA.


Although several efficacious treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) exist, these treatments are currently underutilized in clinical practice. To address this issue, research must better identify barriers to dissemination of these treatments. This study investigated patient preferences for PTSD treatment given a wide range of treatment options in an analog sample. One hundred and sixty individuals, with varying degrees of trauma history, were asked to imagine themselves undergoing a trauma, developing PTSD, and seeking treatment. Participants evaluated seven different treatment descriptions, which depicted treatment options that they might encounter in a clinical setting. Participants rated their most and least preferred treatments along with their personal reactions to and the perceived credibility of each treatment. Participants also completed a critical thinking skills questionnaire. Participants predominantly chose exposure or another variant of cognitive-behavioral therapy as their most preferred therapy, and those who chose exclusively empirically supported treatments evidenced higher critical thinking skills. The present study contributes to a growing literature indicating that patients may be more interested in these therapies than indicated by utilization rates. The problem of underutilization of empirically supported treatments for PTSD in clinical practice may be due to therapist factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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