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Vol. 77, No. 2, 2008
Issue release date: January 2008
Section title: Regular Article
Psychother Psychosom 2008;77:93–100
(DOI:10.1159/000112886)

Treating Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Structured Writing Therapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial

van Emmerik A.A.P. · Kamphuis J.H. · Emmelkamp P.M.G.
Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regular Article

Published online: 1/25/2008

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS

Abstract

Background: Writing assignments have shown promising results in treating traumatic symptomatology. Yet no studies have compared their efficacy to the current treatment of choice, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The present study evaluated the efficacy of structured writing therapy (SWT) and CBT as compared to a waitlist control condition in treating acute stress disorder (ASD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted at an outpatient clinic. Participants (n = 125) (a) satisfied DSM-IV criteria for ASD or PTSD, (b) were 16 years or older, (c) were sufficiently fluent in Dutch or English, (d) had no psychiatric problems except ASD or PTSD that would hinder participation or required alternative clinical care, and (e) received no concurrent psychotherapy. Treatment consisted of five 1.5-hour sessions of CBT or SWT for participants with ASD or acute PTSD and ten 1.5-hour sessions for participants with chronic PTSD. Outcome measures included the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, Impact of Event Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Results: At posttest and follow-up, treatment was associated with improved diagnostic status and lower levels of intrusive symptoms, depression and state anxiety, while a trend was noted for the reduction of avoidance symptoms. Treatment did not result in lower levels of trait anxiety or dissociation. No differences in efficacy were detected between CBT and SWT. Conclusions: The present study confirmed the efficacy of CBT for ASD and PTSD and identified SWT as a promising alternative treatment.


  

Author Contacts

Arnold A.P. van Emmerik
Department of Psychology, Leiden University
PO Box 9555
NL–2300 RB Leiden (The Netherlands)
Tel. +31 71 527 33 82, Fax +31 71 527 46 78, E-Mail aemmerik@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

  

Article Information

Published online: January 25, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 8
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 46

  

Publication Details

Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

Vol. 77, No. 2, Year 2008 (Cover Date: January 2008)

Journal Editor: Fava, G.A. (Bologna)
ISSN: 0033–3190 (Print), eISSN: 1423–0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regular Article

Published online: 1/25/2008

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 3

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS


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