A Chinese Herbal Formula to Improve General Psychological Status in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial on Sichuan Earthquake Survivors

Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200001, China.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.88). 01/2012; 2012(1741-427X):691258. DOI: 10.1155/2012/691258
Source: PubMed


Introduction. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is accompanied by poor general psychological status (GPS). In the present study, we investigated the effects of a Chinese herbal formula on GPS in earthquake survivors with PTSD. Methods. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial compared a Chinese herbal formula, Xiao-Tan-Jie-Yu-Fang (XTJYF), to placebo in 2008 Sichuan earthquake survivors with PTSD. Patients were randomized into XTJYF (n = 123) and placebo (n = 122) groups. Baseline-to-end-point score changes in the three global indices of the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) and rates of response in the SCL global severity index (GSI) were the primary endpoints. A subanalysis of the nine SCL factors and the sleep quality score were secondary endpoints. Results and Discussion. Compared to placebo, the XTJYF group was significantly improved in all three SCL global indices (P = 0.001~0.028). More patients in the XTJYF group reported "much improved" than the placebo group (P = 0.001). The XTJYF group performed significantly better than control in five out of nine SCL factors (somatization, obsessive-compulsive behavior, depression, anxiety, and hostility (P = 0.001~0.036)), and in sleep quality score (P < 0.001). XTJYF produced no serious adverse events. These findings suggest that XTJYF may be an effective and safe treatment option for improving GPS in patients with PTSD.

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    • "This may explain why traditional Chinese herbal medicine is so popular among all Chinese populations, including those living in Western countries. Recently, traditional Chinese herbal medicine, as an alternative treatment , has been found to effectively reduce the symptoms of PTSD (Meng et al., 2012). In a randomized clinical pilot trial conducted at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, 84 individuals diagnosed with PTSD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental "
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    ABSTRACT: The current body of knowledge related to trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is primarily based on research conducted in Western nations. Thus, Western clinicians and researchers may know little about whether people from non-Western societies have similar reactions or symptom manifestations to specific traumatic events. Traditional Chinese health beliefs with their roots in Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism influence illness perception and affect coping behaviors of Chinese exposed to traumatic events. This article discusses compatible and incompatible aspects of the traditional Chinese health beliefs with Western beliefs about PTSD and examines how culture-based motivations may possibly impact emotional responses to traumatic events between American and Chinese cultures. This article also reviews the literature on the prevalence and applications of Western diagnostic criteria and measures of PTSD in contemporary Chinese populations and proposes suggestions for developing a culturally sensitive framework for clinical management of Chinese trauma survivors.
    Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 06/2015; 46(5). DOI:10.1177/0022022115580848 · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    • "The herbs caused improvement in somatization, obsessivecompulsive behavior, depression, anxiety, hostility, and sleep quality without serious side effects, indicating that Xiao-Tan- Jie-Yu-Fang represents a safe and efficient option to improve the generally poor psychological status in PTSD patients (Meng et al., 2012). Other approaches, such as Yoga and meditation, can be defined as mind–body practice, were also proved to be useful to treat PTSD (Bormann, Liu, Thorp, & Lang, 2012; Catani et al., 2009; Descilo et al., 2010 "
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    ABSTRACT: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) widely occurs among victims or witness of disasters. With flashbacks, hyperarousal, and avoidance being the typical symptoms, PTSD became a focus of psychological research. The earthquake in Wenchuan, China, on May 12, 2008, was without precedent in magnitude and aftermath and caused huge damage, which drew scientists' attention to mental health of the survivors. We conducted a systematic overview by collecting published articles from the PubMed database and classifying them into five points: epidemiology, neuropathology, biochemistry, genetics and epigenetics, and treatment. The large body of research during the past 6 years showed that adolescents and adults were among the most studied populations with high prevalence rates for PTSD. Genomic and transcriptomic studies focusing on gene × environment studies as well as epigenetics are still rare, although a few available data showed great potential to better understand the pathophysiology of PTSD as multifactorial disease. Phytotherapy with Chinese herbs and acupuncture are rarely reported as of yet, although the first published data indicated promising therapy effects. Future studies should focus on the following points: (1) The affected populations under observation should be better defined concerning individual risk factor, time of observation, spatial movement, and individual disease courses of patients. (2) The role of social support for prevalence rates of PTSD should be observed in more detail. (3) Efficacy and safety of Chinese medicine should be studied to find potential interventions and effective treatments of PTSD. © The Author(s) 2015.
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    • "We attempted to treat them using mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and hypnotics, but these medications are not always effective; some of these patients then suffer from intractable drug dependency. A Chinese herbal formula was reported to be effective for patients with PTSD after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 [2]. Saikokeishikankyoto (SKK, Chaihu-Guizhi-Ganjiang-Tang in Chinese) is a traditional Japanese-Chinese herbal formula that has a marked effect on some PTSD patients. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami caused immense damage over a wide area of eastern Japan. Hence, many survivors are at high risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This randomized, observer-blinded, controlled trial examined the efficacy and safety of the traditional Japanese herbal formula saikokeishikankyoto (SKK) in the treatment of PTSD among survivors of this disaster. Forty-three participants with an Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) score ≥ 25 were randomized into SKK (n = 21) and control (n = 22) groups. The primary endpoint was the change in IES-R scores from baseline till after 2 weeks of treatment. Intergroup statistical comparisons were performed. The magnitude of changes in total IES-R scores differed significantly between the two groups (P < 0.001). Post hoc analysis showed that the total IES-R score improved significantly in the SKK group from 49.6 ± 11.9 to 25.5 ± 17.0 (P < 0.001). Subscale scores improved significantly in the SKK group (avoidance, P = 0.003; hyperarousal, P < 0.001; intrusion, P < 0.001). Two-week treatment with SKK significantly improved IES-R scores among PTSD patients. This traditional medicine may be a valid choice for the treatment of psychological and physical symptoms in PTSD patients.
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