Two-Session Strategy Helps Trauma Patients Avoid PTSD

Article excerpt

BALTIMORE -- Patients who receive a brief secondary prevention intervention shortly after experiencing trauma can avoid a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder up to 2 years later, research presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies shows.

A2-year follow-up involving 46 of 66 patients who participated in a randomized trial of a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) intervention showed that people who participated in the intervention continued to have fewer symptoms of the disorder than those who were on a waiting list control group, Isabeau Bousquet Des Groseilliers and her associates reported on a poster at the meeting, which was also sponsored by Boston University.

The investigators originally recruited the participants from emergency depart- ments after exposure to different kinds of trauma. The two-session intervention was administered by nurses and social workers 10 days after the trauma. Most (80%) of the participants were white with an undergraduate level of education (67%) and a mean age of about 36 years.

The intervention integrates techniques to help patients counter the negative reactions that their trauma may provoke in their significant others, and promote emotional and cognitive processing of the event through improved communication skills and psychoeducation, according to Ms. Bousquet Des Groseilliers, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Quebec, Montreal, and her colleagues.

For the follow-up assessment, investigators contacted participants by telephone for their consent to an in-person interview using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and to fill out the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). …