Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Focus on Early Maladaptive Schemas Can Reduce PTSD Burden

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Focus on Early Maladaptive Schemas Can Reduce PTSD Burden

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Therapy targeting early maladaptive schemas can reduce the severity of PTSD symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients, according to data presented at the annual conference of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Change in early maladaptive schemas correlated with a 13%-20% variation in PTSD symptom severity among patients tested, which points to the efficacy of incorporating schema-based interventions in trauma-focused therapies, said Karina T. Loyo, of Marquette University, Milwaukee.

Early maladaptive schemas, broad worldviews that develop in childhood, can lead to unhealthy, pervasive expectations in adulthood that directly inhibit PTSD treatment, according to Ms. Loyo. "We can see with how early maladaptive schemas developed early on can influence how an individual interprets a traumatic event," she said.

To test whether early maladaptive schemas can predict symptom reduction and life improvement beyond trauma-related cognitions, Ms. Loyo and her colleagues gave 120 PTSD patients an early maladaptive schemas questionnaire, a quality of life questionnaire, as well as the Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory.

Using a regression model, investigators found the Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory and schema questionnaire predicted quality of life fairly accurately. This was especially true of the schema questionnaire, which predicted 20% more variance in quality of life scores, Ms. Loyo said.

"This suggests that schema-focused therapy [SFT] is related to PTSD symptom severity reduction," Ms. …

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