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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    • "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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