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January 23/30, 2018

A Window Into the Evolution of Trauma-Focused Psychotherapies for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Author Affiliations
  • 1Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • 2Trauma Recovery Center, Cincinnati VA Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
JAMA. 2018;319(4):343-345. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.21880

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sparked tremendous investment to improve the care of service members and veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including enhancing screening and treatment services, updating clinical practice guidelines, and initiating multicenter randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to refine treatment approaches.1 The most recent US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) clinical practice guideline for management of PTSD recommends trauma-focused psychotherapies as first-line treatment ahead of medications,2 with prolonged exposure therapy and cognitive processing therapy the most widely used therapies. Despite these efforts, however, many challenges remain, including stigma and barriers to care and high rates of patient dropout from treatment.1