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J Trauma Stress. 2010 Aug;23(4):491-5. doi: 10.1002/jts.20543.

Behavioral activation as a primary care-based treatment for PTSD and depression among returning veterans.

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  • 1VA Puget Sound Health Care System, VISN-20 Northwest Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, and University of Washington, 1660 South Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108, USA.


This preliminary study examined treatment-satisfaction and potential therapeutic benefits of Behavioral Activation as a primary care-based treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression among Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans. Eight veterans were enrolled, 6 completed at least 4 sessions, and 5 veterans completed posttreatment and 3-month follow-up assessments after receiving 5-8 weekly sessions of Behavioral Activation delivered in a specialty postdeployment primary care clinic. Significant and meaningful reductions in PTSD symptoms were found on structured clinical assessments and self-report measures. Posttraumatic stress disorder treatment gains (measured by structured clinical assessments) were maintained at 3-month follow-up. The majority of veterans demonstrated meaningful improvements on depression and quality of life and veterans reported a high satisfaction with treatment.

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