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Abstract

Objective Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been well established in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In recent years, researchers have begun to investigate its underlying mechanisms of change. Dysfunctional cognitive content, i.e. excessively negative appraisals of the trauma or its consequences, has been shown to predict changes in PTSD symptoms over the course of treatment. However, the role of change in cognitive processes, such as trauma-related rumination, needs to be addressed. The present study investigates whether changes in rumination intensity precede and predict changes in symptom severity. We also explored the extent to which symptom severity predicts rumination. Method As part of a naturalistic effectiveness study evaluating CBT for PTSD in routine clinical care, eighty-eight patients with PTSD completed weekly measures of rumination and symptom severity. Lagged associations between rumination and symptoms in the following week were examined using linear mixed models. Results Over the course of therapy, both ruminative thinking and PTSD symptoms decreased. Rumination was a significant predictor of PTSD symptoms in the following week, although this effect was at least partly explained by the time factor (e.g., natural recovery or inseparable treatment effects). Symptom severity predicted ruminative thinking in the following week even with time as an additional predictor. Conclusions The present study provides preliminary evidence that rumination in PTSD is reduced by CBT for PTSD but does not give conclusive evidence that rumination is a mechanism of change in trauma-focused treatment for PTSD.

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... Using data from the present trial, Lee et al. (2021) found that self-reported negative trauma-related beliefs reduced in parallel and correlated with PTSD symptoms in WET and CPT but did not precede symptom change. Evidence also suggests that ruminative processing (repetitive, negative thinking without insight) is associated with worse PTSD treatment response (Brady et al., 2015;Schumm et al., 2022), but this has not been examined in WET or CPT. ...
Article
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Background: Psychological therapies are the recommended first-line treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Previous systematic reviews have grouped theoretically similar interventions to determine differences between broadly distinct approaches. Consequently, we know little regarding the relative efficacy of the specific manualized therapies commonly applied to the treatment of PTSD. Objective: To determine the effect sizes of manualized therapies for PTSD. Methods: We undertook a systematic review following Cochrane Collaboration guidelines. A pre-determined definition of clinical importance was applied to the results and the quality of evidence was appraised using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) approach. Results: 114 randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) of 8171 participants were included. There was robust evidence that the therapies broadly defined as CBT with a trauma focus (CBT-T), as well as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), had a clinically important effect. The manualized CBT-Ts with the strongest evidence of effect were Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT); Cognitive Therapy (CT); and Prolonged Exposure (PE). There was also some evidence supporting CBT without a trauma focus; group CBT with a trauma focus; guided internet-based CBT; and Present Centred Therapy (PCT). There was emerging evidence for a number of other therapies. Conclusions: A recent increase in RCTs of psychological therapies for PTSD, results in a more confident recommendation of CBT-T and EMDR as the first-line treatments. Among the CBT-Ts considered by the review CPT, CT and PE should be the treatments of choice. The findings should guide evidence informed shared decision-making between patient and clinician.
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Cognitive models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) suggest maladaptive appraisals play a central role in the aetiology of this disorder. The current meta-analysis sought to provide a comprehensive, quantitative examination of the relationship between maladap-tive appraisals and PTSD. One-hundred and 35 studies met study inclusion criteria and were subject to random effects meta-analysis. A large effect size was found for the relationship between appraisals and PTSD (r = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.51-0.56, k = 147), albeit with significant heterogeneity. In studies using only the Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory or Child Post-traumatic Cognitions Inventory, the effect size remained large (r = 0.56; k = 104). In adults, appraisals about the self had a large effect size (r = 0.61), appraisals about the world had a medium effect size (r = 0.46) and self-blame appraisals had a small effect size (r = 0.28). In child/adolescent studies, large effect sizes were found for both 'fragile person in a scary world' and 'permanent and disturbing change' appraisals (r = 0.54 and r = 0.60, respectively). The effect size remained large in prospective longitudinal studies up to one year after trauma. There was no moderation effect for civilian vs military populations, questionnaire vs interview measures of PTSD, single vs multiple trauma exposure, or intentional vs unintentional trauma. The main effect size estimate was robust to sensitivity analyses concerning statistics used, study quality and outliers. These findings are consistent with the strong role for maladaptive appraisals in the aetiology of PTSD proposed by cognitive models. In particular, the role of self-appraisals in adults was highlighted. Avenues for future research include more studies in child, multiple trauma and military populations and longer-term follow up studies.
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Trauma-related rumination is a cognitive style characterized by repetitive negative thinking about the causes, consequences, and implications of a traumatic experience. Frequent trauma-related rumination has been linked to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in civilian samples but has yet to be examined among military veterans. This study extended previous research by examining trauma-related rumination in female veterans who presented to a Veterans Affairs women's trauma recovery clinic (N = 91). The study had two main aims: (a) to examine associations between trauma-related rumination and specific PTSD symptoms, adjusting for the overlap between trauma-related rumination and other relevant cognitive factors, such as intrusive trauma memories and self-blame cognitions; and (b) to assess associations between trauma-related rumination, PTSD, and depression, adjusting for symptom comorbidity. At intake, patients completed a semistructured interview and self-report questionnaires. Primary diagnoses were confirmed via medical record review. Trauma-related rumination was common, with more than 80% of patients reporting at least sometimes engaging in this cognitive style in the past week. After adjusting for other relevant cognitive factors, trauma-related rumination was significantly associated with several specific PTSD symptoms, rp s = .33-.48. Additionally, the severity of trauma-related rumination was associated with overall PTSD symptom severity, even after adjusting for comorbid depression symptoms, rp² = .35. In contrast, the association between trauma-related rumination and depressive symptom severity was not significant after adjusting for comorbid PTSD symptoms, rp² = .008. These results highlight trauma-related rumination as a unique contributing factor to the complex clinical presentation for a subset of trauma-exposed veterans. Published 2019. This article is a U.S. government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
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Negative cognitions about oneself, others, and the world are central to the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We provide a comprehensive review of the literature examining the change in post-trauma negative cognitions in PTSD treatments. We explore the association between change in cognitions and change in PTSD symptoms and the mediational effect of negative cognitions on PTSD symptoms. A review of over 2000 manuscripts resulted in 65 PTSD treatment articles for review that included a measure of negative post-trauma cognitions and PTSD severity. Several studies found that PTSD treatments are associated with concurrent reductions in PTSD symptoms and negative post-trauma cognitions. Many studies suggest that the degree of reduction in negative post-trauma cognitions is both associated with the degree of reduction in PTSD symptoms and may mediate the change in PTSD symptoms in treatment. PTSD treatments are associated with significant improvements in negative post-trauma cognitions that often precede and predict reductions in PTSD symptoms. © 2018 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
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Background and objectives Trauma-related rumination has been suggested to be involved in the maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This view has empirically been supported by extensive evidence using cross-sectional, prospective, and experimental designs. However, it is unclear why trauma survivors engage in rumination despite its negative consequences. The current study aimed to explore the hypothesis that low emotion regulation ability underlies trauma-related rumination. Methods Emotion regulation ability and trauma-related rumination were assessed in 93 road traffic accident survivors 2 weeks post-trauma. In addition, symptom levels of PTSD were assessed at 2 weeks as well as 1, 3, and 6 months follow-up. Results Emotion regulation ability was significantly related to trauma-related rumination as well as levels of PTSD symptoms. In addition, the association between low emotion regulation ability and PTSD was mediated by rumination. Conclusions The findings support the view that rumination is used as a dysfunctional emotion regulation strategy by trauma survivors.
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Objective: The goal of the current study was to examine mechanisms of change in prolonged exposure (PE) therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Emotional processing theory of PTSD proposes that disconfirmation of erroneous cognitions associated with PTSD is a central mechanism in PTSD symptom reduction; but to date, the causal relationship between change in pathological cognitions and change in PTSD severity has not been established. Method: Female sexual or nonsexual assault survivors (N = 64) with a primary diagnosis of PTSD received 10 weekly sessions of PE. Self-reported PTSD symptoms, depression symptoms, and PTSD-related cognitions were assessed at pretreatment, each of the 10 PE treatment sessions, and posttreatment. Results: Lagged mixed-effect regression models indicated that session-to-session reductions in PTSD-related cognitions drove successive reductions in PTSD symptoms. By contrast, the reverse effect of PTSD symptom change on change in cognitions was smaller and did not reach statistical significance. Similarly, reductions in PTSD-related cognitions drove successive reductions in depression symptoms, whereas the reverse effect of depression symptoms on subsequent cognition change was smaller and not significant. Notably, the relationships between changes in cognitions and PTSD symptoms were stronger than the relationships between changes in cognitions and depression symptoms. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the 1st study to establish change in PTSD-related cognitions as a central mechanism of PE treatment. These findings are consistent with emotional processing theory and have important clinical implications for the effective implementation of PE.
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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 at a 3-month follow-up. Positive-reappraisal and putting-into-perspective strategies at baseline interacted with condition to predict symptom change over time. Both strategies predicted greater reductions in PTSD in the waitlist group, suggesting facilitation of natural recovery. However, positive reappraisal was associated with smaller reductions in PTSD in the WET group, suggesting that this strategy may interfere with treatment. Treatment also reduced use of the maladaptive ER strategy of rumination. These results provide evidence that putting-into-perspective and positive-reappraisal strategies are beneficial in the absence of treatment and that certain types of ER strategies may reduce response to WET, highlighting the importance of future research examining ER during treatment.
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The Ruminative Thought Style Questionnaire (RTSQ) is a 20-item measure assessing a single dimension of rumination over and above valence, temporal orientation of thought content, and the cognitive-affective context in which it occurs. The current study examined the factor structure of rumination as measured by the RTSQ, and whether findings of its initial validation study could be replicated within an adolescent sample (N = 2,362). An exploratory factor analysis and a subsequent confirmatory factor analysis were undertaken on two subsamples (n = 1,181) which did not significantly differ in gender and age. Five items with factor loadings of <.50 or cross loadings of >.30 on a second factor were removed. As hypothesised, an exploratory factor analysis on the final 15 items demonstrated the RTSQ was comprised of four rumination subcomponents, labelled “Problem-Focused Thoughts”, “Counterfactual Thinking”, “Repetitive Thoughts”, and “Anticipatory Thoughts”. A confirmatory factor analysis supported this, contrary to the initial validation study. Each of these subscales had differential contributions to psychological distress and coping styles in separate multiple regressions. Our findings support the increasing body of evidence suggesting a multidimensional structure for rumination, and clinical implications are noted.
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The current paper provides an updated review of repetitive negative thinking as a transdiagnostic process. It is shown that elevated levels of repetitive negative thinking are present across a large range of Axis I disorders and appear to be causally involved in the maintenance of emotional problems. As direct comparisons of repetitive negative thinking between different disorders (e.g., GAD–type worry and depressive rumination) have generally revealed more similarities than differences, it is argued that repetitive negative thinking is characterized by the same process across disorders, which is applied to a disorder–specific content. On the other hand, there is some evidence that—within given disorders—repetitive negative thinking can be reliably distinguished from other forms of recurrent cognitions, such as obsessions, intrusive memories or functional forms of repeated thinking. An agenda for future research on repetitive negative thinking from a transdiagnostic perspective is presented.
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Written by internationally recognized experts, this comprehensive CBT clinician's manual provides disorder-specific chapters and accessible pedagogical features. The cutting-edge research, advanced theory, and attention to special adaptations make this an appropriate reference text for qualified CBT practitioners, students in post-graduate CBT courses, and clinical psychology doctorate students. The case examples demonstrate clinical applications of specific interventions and explain how to adapt CBT protocols for a range of diverse populations. It strikes a balance between core, theoretical principles and protocol-based interventions, simulating the experience of private supervision from a top expert in the field.
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Initial models and empirical investigations of rumination in the clinical literature were predominantly in the domain of depression. However, rumination is now well-established as a transdiagnostic cognitive process, including in the context of posttraumatic stress. To clarify the current understanding of rumination in posttraumatic stress, we conducted a systematic review of the empirical literature on rumination in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Six sub-groups of studies on this topic were identified; these addressed: (i) the frequency and nature of rumination, (ii) cross-sectional relationships between rumination and PTSD symptoms, (iii) the capacity of rumination to predict PTSD longitudinally, (iv) other processes associated with rumination, (v) neurobiological correlates of rumination, and (vi) whether treating PTSD reduces rumination. This review synthesizes these domains of research and identifies key methodological limitations which limit causal inferences, and points to important areas of future research to advance knowledge on rumination in PTSD.
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Background Distress tolerance (DT) and rumination both influence the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, few studies have investigated these constructs simultaneously. We investigated whether the regulation dimension of DT was associated with PTSD symptom clusters (intrusions, avoidance, negative alternations in cognitions and mood, alterations in arousal and reactivity), and whether counterfactual rumination (CFT) mediated these relationships. Methods This cross-sectional study sampled trauma-exposed adults (N = 119) seeking mental health services at a community mental health center. Participants completed self-report measures of DT, rumination, and PTSD. Mediation analyses were conducted using the SPSS PROCESS Macro. Results Lower scores on the DT regulation dimension were associated with higher PTSD symptom severity for all four symptom clusters, controlling for depression and number of traumas. CFT significantly mediated this relationship between DT's regulation and PTSD's intrusions and avoidance symptoms. Limitations Limitations included use of self-report data and the cross-sectional nature of this data. Conclusions Clinically, this study highlights that difficulties with regulating negative emotions can result in the use of maladaptive cognitive strategies, such as CFT. This, in turn, may exacerbate PTSD symptom severity, particularly intrusions and avoidance. This study highlights the importance of understanding specific dimensions of DT, rumination, and PTSD symptom clusters to develop precise and efficient psychological interventions.
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Trauma-related rumination is considered one cognitive process that underlies the maintenance of posttraumatic stress. However experimental findings for the effect of trauma-related rumination have been inconclusive and a moderating role of trait rumination has been speculated. Further, existing depression may also interact with trauma-related rumination to increase posttraumatic stress symptoms. The roles of trauma-related rumination, trait rumination and existing depression were therefore investigated. Healthy female participants watched an analogue trauma film and completed either film-related rumination or control inductions involving a distraction and free-thinking task in the first and second experiments, respectively. Participants' frequency of film-related intrusions and associated distress levels were assessed within the initial experimental session, over 1-week after the film and at 1-week follow-up. Induced rumination resulted in greater intrusion-related distress in the second experiment. However no consistent moderations of trait rumination and existing depression were found. Theoretical and clinical implications of findings are discussed.
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Background and objectives: Rumination is a correlate of increased posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms. This study quantitatively reviewed the literature on rumination and PTS symptoms in trauma-exposed adults, extending prior research by using an inclusive definition of trauma, addressing PTS symptom clusters, and conducting moderator analyses. Method: Searches were conducted in PsycINFO, PubMed, PILOTS, EBSCO Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, Google Scholar, and Dissertation Abstracts. Sixty-four unique samples from 59 articles were included. Results: Results showed a moderate, positive relationship between rumination and PTS symptoms (r = .50, p < .001). This was not moderated by time since trauma, gender, prior trauma history, Criterion A congruence of events, type of rumination or PTS symptom measure, or sample setting. However, trauma-focused rumination yielded smaller effect sizes than trait rumination. The association between rumination and intrusive re-experiencing was stronger than that between rumination and avoidance (t (13) = 9.18, p < .001), or rumination and hyperarousal (t (9) = 2.70, p = .022). Conclusions: Results confirm that rumination is associated with increased PTS symptoms. Future research should identify mechanisms underlying this association and their potential specificity by symptoms cluster, as well as further examine the potential moderating roles of gender and prior trauma history.
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Background: This randomized controlled trial evaluated the efficacy of a preventive intervention for anxiety disorders and depression by targeting excessive levels of repetitive negative thinking (RNT; worry and rumination) in adolescents and young adults. Methods: Participants (N = 251, 83.7% female) showing elevated levels of RNT were randomly allocated to a 6-week cognitive-behavioral training delivered in a group, via the internet, or to a waitlist control condition. Self-report measures were collected at pre-intervention, post-intervention, 3 m and 12 m follow-up. Results: Both versions of the preventive intervention significantly reduced RNT (d = 0.53 to 0.89), and symptom levels of anxiety and depression (d = 0.36 to 0.72). Effects were maintained until 12 m follow-up. The interventions resulted in a significantly lower 12 m prevalence rate of depression (group intervention: 15.3%, internet intervention: 14.7%) and generalized anxiety disorder (group intervention: 18.0%, internet intervention: 16.0%), compared to the waitlist (32.4% and 42.2%, respectively). Mediation analyses demonstrated that reductions in RNT mediated the effect of the interventions on the prevalence of depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Conclusions: Results provide evidence for the efficacy of this preventive intervention targeting RNT and support a selective prevention approach that specifically targets a known risk factor to prevent multiple disorders.
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Objective: Trauma-related rumination (i.e., repetitive and recurrent thinking about trauma and its consequences) has shown to predict the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, though little is known about its characteristics. The purpose of this study was to examine trauma-related ruminative content, correlates, and processes during a trauma-specific repetitive thinking interview. Method: A total of 63 female survivors of violence completed questionnaires assessing trauma-related pathology and participated in a trauma-specific repetitive thinking interview, which was qualitatively coded. Results: Most participants expressed problematic (i.e., assimilated and overaccommodated) trauma beliefs during the interview, which were associated with baseline posttraumatic sequelae. Reexperiencing symptoms mediated the relation between a brooding response style and expressed problematic trauma beliefs. State negative emotions were associated with ruminative processes during the interview and predicted negative emotions after the interview. Conclusion: Maladaptive trauma-related rumination is characterized by perseveration on problematic trauma beliefs. Implications for treatment are discussed.
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Cognitive content and processes are central to theories of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In this paper, we highlight recent findings on cognitive factors in PTSD. Evidence for the role of negative post-traumatic cognitions in PTSD has continued to mount, with cognitions mediating PTSD symptoms and predicting PTSD over and above other key predictors. Researchers have also continued to implicate cognitive processes like rumination in the development and maintenance of PTSD. Finally, we review how cognitive-behavioral therapies interrupt dysfunctional cognitive processes in PTSD and highlight research supporting the theory that changes in cognitions are the mechanism of these treatments.
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Prolonged Exposure (PE) effectively reduces negative cognitions about self, world, and self-blame associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with changes in posttraumatic cognitions being associated with reductions in PTSD symptoms (Foa & Rauch, 2004). Further, recent research has demonstrated that cognitive change is a likely mechanism for PTSD symptom reduction in PE (Zalta et al., 2014). The present study examines temporal sequencing of change in three domains of posttraumatic cognitions (i.e., negative cognitions about the self, negative cognitions about the world, and self-blame) and PTSD symptoms during the course of PE. Adult outpatients meeting diagnostic criteria for PTSD were recruited at 4 sites. Participants (N = 46) received 8 sessions of PE over 4- to 6-weeks. PTSD symptoms and posttraumatic cognitions were assessed at pre-treatment and sessions 2, 4, 6, and 8. PTSD symptom severity and negative cognitions about the self and the world each decreased significantly from pre- to post-treatment, while self-blame cognitions were unchanged. Examination of temporal sequencing of changes during the course of PE via time-lagged mixed effects regression modeling revealed that preceding levels of negative cognitions about the world drove successive severity levels of PTSD symptoms, whereas preceding PTSD symptom severity did not drive subsequent negative cognitions about the world. Reductions in negative cognitions about the self led to subsequent improvement in PTSD. Improvement in PTSD symptoms in prior sessions was related to later reduction in negative cognitions about the self, though the impact of negative cognitions in influencing subsequent symptom change demonstrated a stronger effect. Results support that reductions in negative cognitions about the self and world are mechanisms of change in PE, which may have valuable implications for maximizing treatment effectiveness.
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Emotion regulation has been implicated as a risk and maintaining factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Three aspects of emotion regulation have demonstrated the strongest relations with PTSD symptoms: experien- tial avoidance, rumination, and thought suppression. Given that emotion regulation has demonstrated differen- tial relations with DSM-IV PTSD symptom clusters, the current study sought to examine these relations with the DSM-5 symptom clusters of PTSD. Participants were recruited via Amazon's Mechanical Turk (N = 403). All par- ticipants endorsed trauma exposure. Measures included the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5), the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II), the negative affect scale of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS-NA; included as a control variable), the Ruminative Responses Scale (RRS), and the White Bear Suppres- sion Inventory (WBSI). A path analysis model in Mplus indicated that the AAQ-II demonstrated large effects with all four PTSD symptom clusters. Of those relations, the largest was observed for the AAQ-II and the Negative Alterations in Cognition and Mood cluster of PTSD. Results suggest that individual variation in PTSD symptoms may have implications for the salience of particular emotion regulation strategies.
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Numerous guidelines have been developed over the past decade regarding treatments for Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, given differences in guideline recommendations, some uncertainty exists regarding the selection of effective PTSD therapies. The current manuscript assessed the efficacy, comparative effectiveness, and adverse effects of psychological treatments for adults with PTSD. We searched MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, PILOTS, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and the Web of Science. Two reviewers independently selected trials. Two reviewers assessed risk of bias and graded strength of evidence (SOE). We included 64 trials; patients generally had severe PTSD. Evidence supports efficacy of exposure therapy (high SOE) including the manualized version Prolonged Exposure (PE); cognitive therapy (CT), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-mixed therapies (moderate SOE); eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and narrative exposure therapy (low-moderate SOE). Effect sizes for reducing PTSD symptoms were large (e.g., Cohen's d ~-1.0 or more compared with controls). Numbers needed to treat (NNTs) were <4 to achieve loss of PTSD diagnosis for exposure therapy, CPT, CT, CBT-mixed, and EMDR. Several psychological treatments are effective for adults with PTSD. Head-to-head evidence was insufficient to determine these treatments' comparative effectiveness, and data regarding adverse events was absent from most studies.
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Objective: Cognitive models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) propose that rumination about a trauma may increase particular symptom clusters. One type of rumination, termed counterfactual thinking (CFT), refers to thinking of alternative outcomes for an event. CFT centered on a trauma is thought to increase intrusions, negative alterations in mood and cognitions (NAMC), and marked alterations in arousal and reactivity (AAR). The theorized relations between CFT and specific symptom clusters have not been thoroughly investigated. Also, past work has not evaluated whether the relation is confounded by depressive symptoms, age, gender, or number of traumatic events experienced. Method: The current study examined the unique associations between CFT and PTSD symptom clusters according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2013>) in 51 trauma-exposed treatment-seeking individuals. Results: As predicted, CFT was associated with all PTSD symptom clusters. After controlling for common predictors of PTSD symptom severity (i.e., age, depressive symptoms, and number of traumatic life events endorsed), we found CFT to be significantly associated with the intrusion and avoidance symptom clusters but not the AAR or NAMC symptom clusters. Conclusions: Results from the present study provide further support for the role of rumination in specific PTSD symptom clusters above and beyond symptoms of depression, age, and number of traumatic life events endorsed. Future work may consider investigating interventions to reduce rumination in PTSD. (PsycINFO Database Record
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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relations between posttraumatic stress disorder's (PTSD) dysphoria and reexperiencing factors and underlying dimensions of rumination. 304 trauma-exposed primary care patients were administered the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire, PTSD Symptom Scale based on their worst traumatic event, and Ruminative Thought Style Questionnaire (RTSQ). Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were conducted to determine the dysphoria and reexperiencing factors' relationships with the four factors of rumination. Results revealed that both the dysphoria and reexperiencing factors related more to problem-focused thinking and anticipatory thoughts than counterfactual thinking. Additionally, the reexperiencing factor related more to anticipatory thinking than repetitive thinking. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.
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Approximately 15% to 20% of women have been victims of rape and close to a third report current rape-related PTSD or clinically significant depression or anxiety. Unfortunately, very few distressed rape victims seek formal help. This suggests a need to develop alternative ways to assist the many distressed victims of sexual violence. Online treatment programs represent a potentially important alternative strategy for reaching such individuals. The current paper describes a pilot evaluation of an online, therapist-facilitated, self-paced cognitive behavioral program for rape victims. Five college women with current rape-related PTSD were recruited to complete the From Survivor to Thriver (S to T) program in a lab setting over the course of 7 weeks. After completing the program, 4 participants reported clinically significant reductions in PTSD symptoms and no longer met criteria for PTSD. All participants reported clinically significant reductions in vulnerability fears and 4 reported significant reductions in negative trauma-related cognitions. Implications of the results for further development of the S to T program and how clinicians could utilize this program in treating rape-related PTSD are discussed.
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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an important mental health issue in terms of the number of people affected and the morbidity and functional impairment associated with the disorder. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of all treatments for PTSD. PubMed, MEDLINE, PILOTS, and PsycINFO databases were searched for randomized controlled clinical trials of any treatment for PTSD in adults published between January 1, 1980, and April 1, 2012, and written in the English language. The following search terms were used: post-traumatic stress disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD, combat disorders, and stress disorders, post-traumatic. Articles selected were those in which all subjects were adults with a diagnosis of PTSD based on DSM criteria and a valid PTSD symptom measure was reported. Other study characteristics were systematically collected. The sample consisted of 137 treatment comparisons drawn from 112 studies. Effective psychotherapies included cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (g = 1.63, 1.08, and 1.01, respectively). Effective pharmacotherapies included paroxetine, sertraline, fluoxetine, risperidone, topiramate, and venlafaxine (g = 0.74, 0.41, 0.43, 0.41, 1.20, and 0.48, respectively). For both psychotherapy and medication, studies with more women had larger effects and studies with more veterans had smaller effects. Psychotherapy studies with wait-list controls had larger effects than studies with active control comparisons. Our findings suggest that patients and providers have a variety of options for choosing an effective treatment for PTSD. Substantial differences in study design and study participant characteristics make identification of a single best treatment difficult. Not all medications or psychotherapies are effective.