Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Comparative Effectiveness Study

Ofir Levi, Yair Bar-Haim, Yitshak Kreiss, Eyal Fruchter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

UNLABELLED: This study compared the effectiveness of two psychotherapy approaches for treating combat veterans with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy (PDT). These treatments are routinely used by the Unit for Treatment of Combat-Related PTSD of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). IDF veterans with chronic PTSD were assigned to either CBT (n = 148) or PDT (n = 95) based on the nature of their complaint and symptoms. Psychiatric status was assessed at baseline, post-treatment and 8-12 months follow-up using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, the PTSD Questionnaire, the Montgomery and Asberg Depression Rating Scale and the Psychotherapy Outcome Assessment and Monitoring System-Trauma Version assessment questionnaire. Both treatment types resulted in significant reduction in symptoms and with improved functioning from pre-treatment to post-treatment, which were maintained at follow-up. No differences between the two treatments were found in any the effectiveness measures. At post-treatment, 35% of the CBT patients and 45% of the PDT patients remitted, with no difference between the groups. At follow-up, remission rates were 33% and 36% for the CBT and PDT groups, respectively. The study recommends further randomized controlled trials to determine treatment efficacy.

KEY PRACTITIONER MESSAGE: Both cognitive-behavioural therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy have to be treatments offered in clinics for treating PTSD. Therapists who treat PTSD should be familiar with cognitive-behavioural and dynamic methods. The type of treatment chosen should be based on thorough psychosocial assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-307
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • CBT
  • PTSD
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Treatment

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