Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Philip W. Lavori

Publication Details

  • Randomized trial of trauma-focused group therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder - Results from a Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY Schnurr, P. P., Friedman, M. J., Foy, D. W., Shea, M. T., Hsieh, F. Y., Lavori, P. W., Glynn, S. M., Wattenberg, M., Bernardy, N. C. 2003; 60 (5): 481-489


    Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Study 420 is a randomized clinical trial of 2 methods of group psychotherapy for treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in male Vietnam veterans.Vietnam veterans (360 men) were randomly assigned to receive trauma-focused group psychotherapy or a present-centered comparison treatment that avoided trauma focus. Treatment was provided weekly to groups of 6 members for 30 weeks, followed by 5 monthly booster sessions. Severity of PTSD was the primary outcome. Additional measures were other psychiatric symptoms, functional status, quality of life, physical health, and service utilization. Follow-up assessments were conducted at the end of treatment (7 months) and at the end of the booster sessions (12 months); 325 individuals participated in 1 or both assessments. Additional follow-up for PTSD severity was performed in a subset of participants at 18 and 24 months.Although posttreatment assessments of PTSD severity and other measures were significantly improved from baseline, intention-to-treat analyses found no overall differences between therapy groups on any outcome. Analyses of data from participants who received an adequate dose of treatment suggested that trauma-focused group therapy reduced avoidance and numbing and, possibly, PTSD symptoms. Dropout from treatment was higher in trauma-focused group treatment. Average improvement was modest in both treatments, although approximately 40% of participants showed clinically significant change.This study did not find a treatment effect for trauma-focused group therapy. The difference between the effectiveness and adequate dose findings suggests the possible value of methods to enhance the delivery of cognitive-behavioral treatments in clinical practice settings.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000182735000006

    View details for PubMedID 12742869

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