The evidence base for very short-term, intensive treatment for PTSD is growing. Investigators from the U.S. National Center for Veterans Studies conducted an open trial of 2 weeks of daily CPT supplemented with recreation and psychoeducational sleep classes. Military Servicemembers and Veterans with PTSD or subthreshold PTSD (N = 20) engaged in 12 sessions of individual CPT over 2 weeks.
The estimated proportion of participants meeting full diagnostic criteria for PTSD significantly declined from 85.0% at pretreatment to 43.4% at the 6-month follow-up. Interestingly the estimated proportion of participants meeting full diagnostic criteria for PTSD immediately post treatment was 25.0%, perhaps showing how hard PTSD is to treat.
Depression symptoms did not improve, but the severity of suicidal ideation declined from pre-treatment to 6-month follow-up, with the proportion of participants endorsing any suicidal ideation falling from 65.5% to 41%.
Bryan, C. J., Leifker, F. R., Rozek, D. C., Bryan, A. O., Reynolds, M. L., Oakey, D. N., & Roberge, E. (2018). Examining the effectiveness of an intensive, 2-week treatment program for military personnel and veterans with PTSD: Results of a pilot, open-label, prospective cohort trial. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 74, 2070–2081. PTSD pubs ID: 50809