Effectiveness of Three Different Psychotherapies for Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
|Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder||Behavioral: Interpersonal Psychotherapy Behavioral: Prolonged Exposure Therapy Behavioral: Relaxation Therapy||Phase 3|
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Psychotherapies for Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder|
- Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) [ Time Frame: After 14 weeks of treatment ]Continuous measure scale of PTSD symptoms severity. Generally considered state of the art. Range 0-136 (17 items each rated for frequency and for intensity, each on a 0-4 scale). Scores >50 indicate at least moderately severe PTSD; scores <20 were defined as remission. See Blake DD, Weathers FW, Nagy LM, et al: The development of a clinician-administered PTSD scale. J Trauma Stress 1995; 8:75-90; Weathers FW, Keane TM, Davidson JRT: Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale: a review of the first ten years of research. Depression and Anxiety 2001;13:132-156
- Hamilton Depression Rating Scale [ Time Frame: After 14 weeks of treatment ]Continuous scale to measure depressive symptom severity with a potential range from 0 to 74. Higher scores indicate more severe depressive symptoms. Scores <8 are generally considered not depressed; 8-12 mildly depressed; 13-19 moderately depressed; 20 and greater, severely depressed. Reference: Hamilton M: A rating scale for depression. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1960;25:56-62
|Study Start Date:||April 2008|
|Study Completion Date:||March 2014|
|Primary Completion Date:||March 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Experimental: 1 Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
Participants will receive interpersonal psychotherapy.
Behavioral: Interpersonal Psychotherapy
14 weekly 50-minute sessions of interpersonal psychotherapy, a time-limited treatment that focuses on interpersonal functioning and social supports
Active Comparator: 2 Prolonged Exposure (PE)
Participants will receive prolonged exposure therapy.
Behavioral: Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Ten 90-minute sessions, distributed over 14 weeks, of prolonged exposure, which involves the repeated, detailed recounting of the trauma to develop a coherent narrative and repeated exposure to reminders of the trauma
Active Comparator: 3 Relaxation therapy
Participants will receive relaxation therapy.
Behavioral: Relaxation Therapy
Nine 90-minute sessions and one 30-minute session, distributed over 14 weeks, that focus on muscle relaxation to address the physical symptoms of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is caused by a traumatic experience often involving physical harm or the threat of harm or death. The emotional numbness and traumatic flashbacks symptomatic of PTSD interfere with everyday life for approximately 7.7 million adults. Besides prescription drug treatment, only exposure-based therapies, like prolonged exposure (PE) therapy, have been proved effective in treating PTSD. Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), which is not based on exposure, is effective in treating mood disorders, and pilot studies indicate it may also be effective in treating PTSD. IPT treats patients by helping them to improve their interpersonal functioning, as opposed to PE, which helps patients by guiding them to recreate traumatic memories in safe circumstances. This study will determine whether IPT is as effective as PE, the gold standard, in treating PTSD. Relaxation therapy, a commonly used control therapy for studies of PTSD, will be used for that purpose here.
All participants will be screened for PTSD, with those meeting the criteria being randomly assigned to one of the following three treatment groups:
- Group 1 participants will receive IPT. They will meet weekly for fourteen 50-minute sessions focusing on interpersonal consequences of the trauma affecting them and their relationships with others.
- Group 2 participants will receive PE. They will meet for 10, unevenly spaced 90-minute sessions during which they will face the trauma responsible for their symptoms.
- Group 3 participants will receive relaxation therapy. They will meet for nine 90-minute sessions and one 30-minute session during which they will learn relaxation methods.
All treatments will last 14 weeks, with assessments made by mental health professionals at screening, the midpoint of the study, the end of the study, and a 3-month follow-up. PTSD symptoms will be assessed through clinical interviews and self-report measures. In addition, participants will complete other interviews and tests that will examine a variety of factors relating to mental health, including comorbidity of other conditions, affect, social functioning, and quality of life.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00739765
|United States, New York|
|New York State Psychiatric Institute|
|New York, New York, United States, 10032|
|Principal Investigator:||John C. Markowitz, MD||New York State Psychiatric Institution|