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Psychol Trauma. 2016 Nov;8(6):720-727. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

Women with PTSD benefit more from psychotherapy than men.

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Trauma Studies Centre, Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal.
Sexology Department, Université du Québec à Montréal.
Psychology Department, Faculty of Social Sciences, Université Laval.



This study aimed to examine possible gender differences in therapy gain in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It also aimed to examine whether the gender effect could be explained by gender differences in dropout rates, trauma type (interpersonal/noninterpersonal), or context of the event (work-related/not work-related).


Seventy-one participants received 20-session cognitive-behavior therapy for PTSD. They were assessed pre- and posttreatment on primary and secondary outcome measures: PTSD symptoms, quality of life, avoidance, social support and positive reappraisal copings, and supportive and countersupportive interactions.


Regression analysis showed that gender explained 6%-9% significant variance in the outcome: Women statistically benefited more from the treatment than men on quality of life (p < .05), avoidance (p < .01), and support seeking (p < .05) copings, supportive (p < .05), and countersupportive (p < .05) interactions. However, there was no statistically significant gender difference on PTSD symptoms and positive reappraisal coping. Dropout rate, trauma type, and context of trauma could not explain the gender differences.


The results might explain ambiguous previous results on gender differences in therapy efficacy for PTSD, and highlight the importance of using multiple measurements in the evaluation of treatment outcome in PTSD. Further research is needed to explain the exact mechanisms behind women's getting more of therapy's secondary benefits. (PsycINFO Database Record

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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