Denise M Sloan

Denise M Sloan
National Center for PTSD

Ph.D.

About

170
Publications
55,094
Reads
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6,544
Citations
Citations since 2017
58 Research Items
3408 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
20172018201920202021202220230200400600
Additional affiliations
September 2006 - present
Boston University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (170)
Article
We assessed the interrater reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity of the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview-Short Form (SITBI-SF) in a sample of 1,944 active duty service members and veterans seeking services for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related conditions. The SITBI-SF demonstrated high interrater...
Article
Participant training alone is typically insufficient to ensure adoption of a new treatment. This study provides preliminary data on a pilot program that implemented written exposure therapy (WET) through a virtual facilitated learning collaborative (VFLC) that combined clinician training with implementation support. Ninety-five mental health clinic...
Article
Written exposure therapy (WET) is a brief, 5-session treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that aims to improve access to care. WET has been demonstrated to be an efficacious PTSD treatment with lower rates of dropout and noninferior PTSD symptom outcome compared to cognitive processing therapy (CPT), a 12-session, gold-standard treatm...
Article
Objective: Greater duration of negative trauma-related beliefs may inhibit improvements in these cognitions during posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment. The goal of the current study was to examine the impact of time since trauma on change in negative trauma-related beliefs during PTSD treatment. Method: A sample of 126 adults diagnose...
Chapter
Group treatment of trauma-related problems was popularized with the introduction of “rap groups” for combat veterans in the 1960s. Since this era, substantial advances have been made in individual psychosocial treatment approaches for trauma-related disorders, including the development and testing of several empirically supported treatments. Unfort...
Article
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) versions of the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5) and PTSD Checklist (PCL-5) are widely used PTSD measures. Researchers and clinicians routinely use both measures in tandem to quantify symptom change, despite substantive instrumentation differences beyond admi...
Article
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs at high rates among college students, and there is an urgent need to develop brief and accessible interventions to help these at-risk students achieve academic and career success. This open-trial pilot study tested the feasibility and effectiveness of Written Exposure Therapy (WET; Sloan & Marx, 2019), a...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs more commonly among military service members than among civilians; however, despite the availability of several evidence-based treatments, there is a need for more efficient evidence-based PTSD treatments to better address the needs of service members. Written exposure therapy is a brief PTSD i...
Article
We calculated the reliable change index (RCI) and clinically significant change (CSC) values for two widely used measures of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): The Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5) and the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) and examined how symptom changes at these thresholds related to improvements in psychosoc...
Article
Objective: Written Exposure Therapy (WET) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been shown to be efficacious in clinical trials; however, research is needed to determine WET's effectiveness in clinical practice settings. Additionally, research is needed to understand whether patient characteristics or treatment delivery format moderate outc...
Article
Studies of active duty service members have shown that military personnel who screen positive for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more than twice as likely to make a suicide attempt. Evidence-based PTSD treatments can reduce suicidal ideation; however, it can be challenging to provide evidence-based, trauma-focused, PTSD treatment to high-...
Article
Patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at an elevated risk of suicide. For patients hospitalized for suicide risk, psychosocial treatment and stabilization are routinely offered; however, the availability of evidence-based, manualized therapeutic interventions for PTSD is sparse. Typically, the short duration of hospitalization make...
Article
The STRONG STAR Consortium (South Texas Research Organizational Network Guiding Studies on Trauma and Resilience) and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD are interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research consortia focused on the detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and comorbid con...
Article
Objective: Avoidance of trauma-related stimuli is thought to be central in the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, knowledge of trauma-related avoidance has been limited by conceptualization of this construct as unifactorial and consisting of only two components. The Posttraumatic Avoidance Behaviour Quest...
Chapter
This chapter describes the theoretical models behind evidence-based post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments and the importance of adhering to the model of PTSD treatment when making adaptations to treatment protocols. We review modifications that might be made for both exposure-based and cognitive-based treatment approaches, rooted in thei...
Article
In the current study, we examined the degree to which sudden gains (large, rapid, and stable symptom reduction in a one-session interval) predicted treatment outcome in adults randomized to two different trauma-focused treatments. Adults diagnosed with PTSD were randomized to either written exposure therapy (WET; n = 63), a brief, exposure-based tr...
Article
Objectives: Transdiagnostic treatments increasingly include emotion regulation training focused on use of emotional suppression and acceptance. Despite the frequent use of these treatments in depression, little is known about the effects of these strategies in this population. Design: An experimental study. Methods: Eighty Veterans with unipol...
Article
We examined whether extinction or changes negative trauma-related beliefs occur either prior to or concurrently with changes in posttraumatic stress symptoms among individuals who received either Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) or Written Exposure Therapy (WET) using statistical methods that permit proper discernment of temporal sequence. Commun...
Article
Dropout from trauma-focused treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) represents a daunting challenge for the field, particularly among military and veteran samples. Family involvement may help to increase the effectiveness of PTSD treatment while also improving retention. We tested a two-session brief family intervention (BFI) protocol de...
Article
Full-text available
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is highly prevalent among veterans. Although there are effective treatment approaches for PTSD, such as Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy, many providers trained in these approaches do not use them, or use them without sufficient fidelity, and veterans drop out of these treatments at very...
Article
To examine moderators of change during group-based intervention for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), multilevel models were used to assess trajectories of symptom clusters in male veterans receiving trauma focused Group Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (gCBT; N = 84) or non-trauma focused Group Present Centered Therapy (gPCT; N = 91; Sloan et al...
Preprint
Although patient intelligence may be an important determinant of the degree to which individuals may comprehend, comply with, and ultimately benefit from trauma-focused treatment, no prior studies have examined the impact of patient intelligence on benefit from psychotherapies for PTSD. We investigated the degree to which educational achievement, o...
Article
Exposure‐based writing interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have shown promise when compared with waitlist conditions, placebo writing control conditions, and evidence‐based, trauma‐focused treatments. Recently, Dawson et al. (2020) conducted a systematic review and meta‐analysis to examine existing published randomized controlled...
Article
In response to COVID‐19, continued workforce training is essential to ensure that evidence‐based treatments are available on the frontline to meet communities’ ongoing and emerging mental health needs. However, training during a pandemic imposes many new challenges. This paper describes a multisite training and implementation pilot program, facets...
Article
Objective: Peritraumatic dissociation, a dissociative reaction that occurs at the time of a traumatic event, has been established as a strong risk factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, self-reported peritraumatic dissociation is typically assessed months or years after trauma exposure and may be influenced by current distress le...
Article
Family involvement in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans has the potential to improve treatment retention and outcomes. Current protocols that incorporate family members into treatment tend to involve at least 15 sessions, and none are designed to complement Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) or Prolonged Exposure...
Article
Full-text available
Although a number of trauma treatments for youth have demonstrated efficacy in re search settings, the promise of these treatments has not yet been realized via widespread implementation in usual care settings. Implementation science, the scientific study of methods to increase the adoption, uptake, and sustainment of evidence-based practices (EBPs...
Chapter
Full-text available
and Keywords This chapter provides an overview of the current empirical support for eye movement de sensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which has been included in international treatment guidelines as an evidence-based and recommended treatment for this condition. It first provides a brief descrip...
Article
Although patient intelligence may be an important determinant of the degree to which individuals may comprehend, comply with, and ultimately benefit from trauma-focused treatment, no prior studies have examined the impact of patient intelligence on benefit from psychotherapies for PTSD. We investigated the degree to which educational achievement, o...
Article
Adapting evidence-based treatments for online delivery has potential to significantly increase the reach of effective care to Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This paper describes the rationale for and methods of a randomized controlled trial comparing the efficacy and efficiency of written exposure therapy versus imaginal exposu...
Article
Full-text available
Although there are a number of effective treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there is a need to develop more efficient evidence-based PTSD treatments to address barriers to seeking and receiving treatment. Written exposure therapy (WET) is a potential alternative that is a 5-session treatment without any between-session assignments...
Conference Paper
The Veterans Health Administration began a formal training program for evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) for Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 2007. Barriers continue to exist in the delivery of these EBPs for all Veterans diagnosed with PTSD resulting in lower than desired penetration rates. Written Exposure Therapy (WET) is an EBP for P...
Article
Dropout rates in trauma-focused treatments for adult posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are high. Most research has focused on demographic and pretreatment predictors of dropout, but findings have been inconsistent. We examined predictors of dropout in cognitive processing therapy (CPT) by coding the content of trauma narratives written in early...
Article
Despite high levels of traffic-related mortality, injury, and impairment among former service members, measures validated to assess problematic driving in this population remain limited. The current study examined characteristics of the Driving Behavior Survey (DBS) in male veterans (76.3% White; age: M = 56.4, SD = 12.3) meeting criteria for PTSD....
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of review: Written Exposure Therapy (WET) is a 5-session exposure-based intervention for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). WET was developed through a series of systematic evaluations of the expressive writing procedure. It is an efficient intervention, requiring limited patient and therapist time and no between-sessio...
Article
Relative to advances in the literature that have examined individual treatment approaches for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), scientific knowledge about group treatment approaches has lagged, resulting in no currently available group treatment for PTSD despite the frequency with which this format is used. Our goal was to build upon the existi...
Article
Network theory, which conceptualizes psychiatric disorders as networks of interacting symptoms, may provide a useful framework for understanding psychopathology. However, questions have arisen regarding the stability and generalizability of network analytic methods, with some researchers arguing that symptom networks have limited replicability. The...
Article
1 Background Written exposure therapy (WET) is a 5‐session PTSD treatment that may address barriers in treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) given its brevity and tolerability. A recent study found outcomes for WET were non‐inferior to outcomes from Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) through 36 weeks from first treatment session (Sloan...
Article
The Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire–Short form (CERQ-Short; Garnefski & Kraaij, 2006) was developed to assess nine theoretically derived factors of emotion regulation. However, the psychometric properties of this measure have never been studied in a clinical sample. The present study examined the latent factor structure and construct val...
Article
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) four-factor model of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has demonstrated adequate fit in several confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) studies. Although several alternative measurement models have demonstrated better fit, there is no consensus yet on the best model, and...
Article
In Reply Two letters published in this issue of JAMA Psychiatry raise several questions about our study,¹ and we are pleased to have an opportunity to respond. Owing to space limitations, we have responded to those comments that have the greatest implications for our study findings and implications for methods used in randomized clinical trials abo...
Article
Objective: Examine initial levels and pattern of change of alliance in group treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for veterans. Method: One hundred and seventy-eight male veterans with PTSD were recruited for this study. Participants were randomly assigned to either group cognitive behavioral therapy (GCBT) or to group present-cent...
Article
1 Background Suicide rates among veterans have increased markedly since the onset of Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF; LeardMann et al., 2013). Identification of factors with the greatest contribution to suicide risk among veterans is needed to inform risk assessment and to identify intervention targets. 2 Methods This stud...
Article
Importance Written exposure therapy (WET), a 5-session intervention, has been shown to efficaciously treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, this treatment has not yet been directly compared with a first-line PTSD treatment such as cognitive processing therapy (CPT). Objective To determine if WET is noninferior to CPT in patients with...
Article
We provide commentary on the article by Austern (2017) in which several composite PTSD treatment cases with veteran clients are presented. Written Exposure Therapy (WET) was implemented in each case, with varying levels of success. We provide additional background on the development of WET to provide readers with a better understanding of how this...
Article
Full-text available
The Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) is an extensively validated and widely used structured diagnostic interview for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The CAPS was recently revised to correspond with PTSD criteria in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association,...
Article
Peritraumatic dissociation, a term used to describe a complex array of reactions to trauma, including depersonalization, derealization, and emotional numbness, has been associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms across a number of studies. Cognitive theory suggests that interpretations of traumatic events and reactions underlie t...
Article
Emotion regulation (ER) strategy use has been identified as a transdiagnostic predictor of the development, maintenance, and recovery from several forms of psychopathology. However, the ER strategy use literature relies primarily on self-report measures that have several important limitations. This article describes the development and initial psyc...
Article
Learning processes have been implicated in the development and course of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, little is currently known about punishment-based learning in PTSD. The current study investigated impairments in punishment-based learning in U.S. veterans. We expected that veterans with PTSD would demonstrate greater punishment-...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: First-line treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often implemented twice per week in efficacy trials. However, there is considerable variability in the frequency of treatment sessions (e.g., once per week or twice per week) in clinical practice. Moreover, clients often cancel or reschedule treatment sessions, leading t...
Article
Acts of terrorism are becoming increasingly common throughout the world. These events represent a significant public health concern given the associated health consequences. Although it is clear that terrorist attacks have mental and physical health sequelae, the exact nature and prevalence of these consequences are unclear. Epidemiological researc...
Article
Full-text available
According to current treatment guidelines for Complex PTSD (cPTSD), psychotherapy for adults with cPTSD should start with a "stabilization phase." This phase, focusing on teaching self-regulation strategies, was designed to ensure that an individual would be better able to tolerate trauma-focused treatment. The purpose of this paper is to criticall...
Article
Although the effectiveness of exposure therapy for PTSD is recognized, treatment mechanisms are not well understood. Emotional processing theory (EPT) posits that fear reduction within and between sessions creates new learning, but evidence is limited by self-report assessments and inclusion of treatment components other than exposure. We examined...
Article
Full-text available
A substantial minority of people drop out of cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBTs) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There has been considerable research investigating who drops out of PTSD treatment; however, the question of when dropout occurs has received far less attention. The purpose of the current study was to examine when individual...
Article
Although a number of effective psychotherapies for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are available, there is a need to develop alternative treatments for those who may not respond optimally to these treatments or who may not have access to clinicians who can competently deliver them. Narrative writing, which involves repeated recounting about a...
Article
Self-distancing, or viewing oneself from a third-person perspective, reduces reactivity when analyzing one’s feelings. Self-distancing may have important effects among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who have heightened emotional and physiological reactivity to trauma memories, but the effects of self-distancing in this group...
Article
Full-text available
Postdoctoral training is increasingly common in the field of psychology. Although many individuals pursue postdoctoral training in psychology, guidelines for research training programs at this level do not exist. The rapid advances in the field, particularly with respect to genetics, neuroimaging, and data analytic approaches, require clinical scie...
Chapter
The technique of organized group therapy began around 1905 with J. H. Pratt. Pratt led instructional groups with tuberculosis patients designed to provide information about their illness, when he realized the emotional support that patients were experiencing in the group format (Barlow et al. 2000). Other early pioneers included the social worker J...
Article
Depression and cigarette smoking co-occur at high rates. However, the etiological mechanisms that contribute to this relationship remain unclear. Anhedonia and associated impairments in reward learning are key features of depression, which also have been linked to the onset and maintenance of cigarette smoking. However, few studies have investigate...
Article
Cognitive behavioral therapy evolved from systematic studies testing learning theories. This research lead to the development of effective treatment approaches for a variety of disorders. In more recent years we have moved away from relying on experimental psychopathology studies to directly inform our treatment approaches. This paper describes why...
Article
Cognitive behavioral therapy evolved from systematic studies testing learning theories. This research led to the development of effective treatment approaches for a variety of disorders. In more recent years we have moved away from relying on experimental psychopathology studies to directly inform our treatment approaches. This paper describes why...
Article
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a growing public health concern. More recently, evidence has indicated that PTSD leads to obesity and associated metabolic dysfunction. Possible mechanisms of this link are through dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and related moderation of appetite hormones and neural activity, leading t...
Article
Objective: Eating disorder (ED) symptoms have gone mostly unexamined among veterans. The current study assessed rates of bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) symptoms and diagnoses and their associations with common comorbidities among male and female veterans. Method: Participants were US military veterans who screened positive...
Article
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with suicidal ideation and behavior, and is found to frequently co-occur with other conditions that exacerbate the risk for suicidal behavior. Despite these findings, few individuals with PTSD engage in suicidal acts, and there has been little research to examine those factors that protect against...
Article
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has promoted the use of telehealth technologies to deliver mental health care to veterans with limited access to services on account of geographic and other barriers. The use of technology to deliver interventions to veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been a particular focus within VHA. M...
Article
THE PUBLISHER REGRETS THAT the printed version of the above article contained a number of errors. The correct and final version follows. The publisher would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Article
Numerous treatments are available that address the core symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, there are a number of related behavioral stress responses that are not assessed with PTSD measures, yet these behavioral stress responses affect quality of life. The goal of the current study was to investigate whether a recently devel...
Article
There is a need to identify alternative treatment options for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially among veterans where PTSD tends to be more difficult to treat and dropout rates are especially high. One potential alternative is written exposure therapy, a brief intervention shown to treat PTSD among civilians effectively. This study in...
Article
Data suggest anxious drivers may engage in problematic behaviors that place themselves and others at increased risk of negative traffic events. Three domains of problematic behavior - exaggerated safety/caution, performance deficits, and hostile/aggressive behaviors - previously were identified during development of the Driving Behavior Survey (DBS...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the extent to which cognitive emotion-regulation (ER) strategies moderated posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment outcome among 40 motor vehicle accident survivors. Participants were randomly assigned to either a brief written exposure therapy (WET) condition or a waitlist condition and were assessed pre- and posttreatment and a...
Article
Full-text available
Background Both depression and smoking have been independently associated with lower heart rate variability (HRV), suggesting dysregulation of cardiac autonomic function. However, no studies have systematically explored the effects of smoking on HRV among depressed patients. Purpose This study examined differences in HRV based on smoking status amo...
Conference Paper
Psychological disorders are frequently under-diagnosed and consequently have an irreversible impact on individuals and society. The stigma associated with such disorders makes face-to-face discussions with family members and clinicians difficult for many individuals. In contrast, people openly relate experiences on Internet forums. This paper descr...
Book
The experience of traumatic events is a near-universal, albeit unfortunate, part of the human experience. Given how many individuals are exposed to trauma, it is interesting to question why some individuals are resilient in the face of trauma while others go on to develop chronic post-traumatic stress. Throughout the relatively brief history of the...
Article
This study examined concordance between physiological arousal and subjective distress during a laboratory challenge task. Data were collected during the multisite VA Cooperative Study 334 in the early 1990s examining psychophysiological arousal among combat-exposed Vietnam veterans with (n = 775) and without (n = 369) posttraumatic stress disorder...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to provide a brief review of group treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This review includes a description of group-based treatments for PTSD and the available data on the efficacy of group treatment for PTSD. The literature review indicates that group treatment for PTSD is efficacious compared with no...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines whether individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) would exhibit augmented emotional responses to picture stimuli after being challenged with an ideographic interpersonal conflict script. Participants were 24 adults diagnosed with BPD, 23 adults diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), and 28...
Conference Paper
The stigma associated with mental health issues makes face-to-face discussions with family members, friends, or medical professionals difficult for many people. In contrast, the Internet, due to its ubiquity and global outreach, is increasingly becoming a popular medium for distressed individuals to anonymously relate experiences. In this paper, we...
Article
This chapter provides an introduction and overview to this handbook, focusing on the historical context that underlies current issues within the trauma literature. This handbook contains eight parts, focusing on classification and phenomenology, epidemiology and special populations, contributions from theory, assessment, prevention and early interv...
Article
This chapter highlights some of the advances in traumatic stress disorders that have been described by contributors of this volume. The chapter also describes areas that will be important for the field to address in the years to come. These areas include advances in the classification of traumatic stress disorders, advances in biological and geneti...