Psychological treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jul 18CD
Psychological interventions are widely used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
To perform a systematic review of randomised controlled trials of all psychological treatments following the guidelines of The Cochrane Collaboration.
Systematic searches of computerised databases, hand search of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, searches of reference lists, known websites and discussion fora, and personal communication with key workers.
Types of studies - Any randomised controlled trial of a psychological treatment. Types of participants - Adults suffering from traumatic stress symptoms for three months or more. Types of interventions - Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy/exposure therapy (TFCBT); stress management (SM); other therapies (supportive therapy, non-directive counselling, psychodynamic therapy and hypnotherapy); group cognitive behavioural therapy (group CBT); eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR). Types of outcomes - Severity of clinician rated traumatic stress symptoms. Secondary measures included self-reported traumatic stress symptoms, depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, adverse effects and dropouts.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Data were entered using Review Manager software. Quality assessments were performed. Data were analysed for summary effects using Review Manager 4.2.
Thirty-three studies were included in the review. With regards to reduction of clinician assessed PTSD symptoms measured immediately after treatment TFCBT did significantly better than waitlist/usual care (standardised mean difference (SMD) = -1.40; 95% CI, -1.89 to -0.91; 14 studies; n = 649). There was no significant difference between TFCBT and SM (SMD = -0.27; 95% CI, -0.71 to 0.16; 6 studies; n = 239). TFCBT did significantly better than other therapies (SMD = -0.81; 95% CI, -1.19 to -0.42; 3 studies; n = 120). Stress management did significantly better than waitlist/usual care (SMD = -1.14; 95% CI, -1.62 to -0.67; 3 studies; n = 86) and than other therapies (SMD = -1.22; 95% CI, -2.09 to -0.35; 1 study; n = 25). There was no significant difference between other therapies and waitlist/usual care control (SMD = -0.43; 95% CI, -0.90 to 0.04; 2 studies; n = 72). Group TFCBT was significantly better than waitlist/usual care (SMD = -0.72; 95% CI, -1.14 to -0.31). EMDR did significantly better than waitlist/usual care (SMD = -1.51; 95% CI, -1.87 to -1.15; 5 studies; n = 162). There was no significant difference between EMDR and TFCBT (SMD = 0.02; 95% CI, -0.28 to 0.31; 6 studies; n = 187). There was no significant difference between EMDR and SM (SMD = -0.35; 95% CI, -0.90 to 0.19; 2 studies; n = 53). EMDR did significantly better than other therapies (self-report) (SMD = -0.84; 95% CI, -1.21 to -0.47; 2 studies; n = 124).