Remission from post-traumatic stress disorder in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of long term outcome studies

Clinical psychology review (Impact Factor: 7.18). 03/2014; 34(3):249-255. DOI: 10.1016/j.cpr.2014.03.002
Source: PubMed


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a frequent mental disorder associated with significant distress and high costs. We conducted the first systematic review and meta-analysis on spontaneous long-term remission rates, i. e., without specific treatment. Data sources were searches of databases, hand searches, and contact with authors. Remission estimates were obtained from observational prospective studies of PTSD without specific treatment. Remission was defined as the actual percentage of PTSD cases at baseline who are non-cases after a minimum of ten months. Forty-two studies with a total of 81,642 participants were included. The mean observation period was 40months. Across all studies, an average of 44.0% of individuals with PTSD at baseline were non-cases at follow-up. Remission varied between 8 and 89%. In studies with the baseline within the first five months following trauma the remission rate was 51.7% as compared to 36.9% in studies with the baseline later than five months following trauma. Publications on PTSD related to natural disaster reported the highest mean of remission rate (60.0%), whereas those on PTSD related to physical disease reported the lowest mean of remission rate from PTSD (31.4%). When publications on natural disaster were used as a reference group, the only type of traumatic events to differ from natural disaster was physical disease. No other measured predictors were associated with remission from PTSD. Long-term remission from PTSD without specific treatment varies widely and is higher in studies with the baseline within five months following trauma.

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Available from: Nexhmedin Morina, Nov 12, 2014
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    • "For instance, telephone monitoring and support of veterans after discharge from a residential PTSD treatment program did not show improved mental or behavioral health outcomes compared to veterans who not receive follow-up care management (Rosen et al., 2013). In a recently completed review and meta-analysis of remission from PTSD without specific treatment, involving 42 studies with 81,642 participants, it was found that the remission rate was 51.7% 5 months following the trauma compared to 36.9% remission rate beyond 5 months after the trauma, indicating that early treatment is essential for improved prognosis (Morina, Wicherts, Lobbrecht, & Priebe, 2014). Another effort that is underway is to determine if suicide mortality can be reduced following 2-year post discharge following inpatient hospitalization for suicidality through the use of caring emails (Luxton et al., 2014). "
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