Medical College of Wisconsin
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Open trial of exposure therapy for PTSD among patients with severe and persistent mental illness. Behav Res Ther 2016 Mar;78:1-12 PMID: 26797658

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OBJECTIVE: There are few empirical data regarding effective treatment of trauma-related symptoms among individuals with severe mental illness (SMI; e.g., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia). This under-examined clinical issue is significant because rates of trauma and PTSD are higher among individuals with SMI relative to the general population, and there are sufficient data to suggest that PTSD symptoms exacerbate the overall course and prognosis of SMI.

METHOD: 34 veterans with SMI received prolonged exposure (PE) for PTSD using an open trial study design.

RESULTS: Data suggest that PE is feasible to implement, well-tolerated, and results in clinically significant decreases in PTSD severity in patients with SMI. Mean CAPS scores improved 27.2 points from baseline to immediate post [95% CI for mean change: -44.3, - 10.1; p = 0.002, paired t-test, and treatment gains were maintained at 6 months [mean change from baseline to 6-months, -16.1; 95% CI: -31.0, -1.2; p = 0.034, paired t-test].

CONCLUSIONS: The current data support the use of exposure-based interventions for PTSD among individuals with SMI and highlight the need for rigorous randomized efficacy trials investigating frontline PTSD interventions in this patient population.

Author List

Grubaugh AL, Clapp JD, Frueh BC, Tuerk PW, Knapp RG, Egede LE


Leonard E. Egede MD Center Director, Chief, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-84953861205   6 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Chronic Disease
Implosive Therapy
Life Change Events
Mental Disorders
Middle Aged
Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
Severity of Illness Index
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Treatment Outcome
jenkins-FCD Prod-353 9ccd8489072cb19f5b9f808bb23ed672c582f41e