439 Treating PTSD Via Telehealth

Research by Acierno, Ron; Knapp, Rebecca; Tuerk, Peter; Gilmore, Amanda; Lejuez, Carl; Ruggiero, Kenneth; Muzzy, Wendy; Egede, Leonard; Hernandez-Tejada, Melba; Foa, Edna (2017) A non-inferiority trial of Prolonged Exposure for posttraumatic stress disorder: In-person versus home-based telehealth.Behaviour Research and Therapy,89, 57-65. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2016.11.009

Written by Robin N. Fatovic B.S

Exposure Therapy for people with posttraumatic stress disorder is very effective. This therapy slowly exposes them to what they fear most, to help them deal with trauma memories. However, when people quarantine in their homes, how can they get this treatment? Researchers studied 130 veterans diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to find out. Half received exposure therapy in person, which is traditional; half via teletherapy delivered to their homes. So, which group had a better outcome? Neither! Both in-person and teletherapy treatments were equally effective in treating PTSD symptoms. However, results showed that in-person treatment was slightly better at treating depressive symptoms, but after 6 months of treatment, the two groups were equal. Social distancing can impact receiving in-person therapy. Exposure Teletherapy is just as effective. Even beyond the pandemic, physically challenged veterans and other trauma victims can get treatment via teletherapy, cutting back on travel costs, and working better around job schedules. Don’t let physical health restrictions interfere with your getting the care you need!

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