Treatment and prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder


What treatments are effective for chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the prevention of PTSD following trauma? The current review illustrates the basic efficacy of several psychosocial treatments for PTSD (ie, exposure, stress inoculation training, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, cognitive therapy); discusses comparative studies of these treatments; examines two preventive interventions for trauma survivors (i.e., psychological debriefing, cognitive behavioral programs); and suggests future research directions. Several psychosocial treatments for chronic PTSD have been proven effective. The few randomized, comparative studies do not provide strong evidence for the superiority of one intervention over another. Further, these studies do not support an additive benefit for combined treatments. While evidence does not support the efficacy of psychological debriefing in preventing PTSD following trauma, studies do suggest that brief cognitive-behavioral programs may accelerate recovery and prevent the development of chronic PTSD following trauma.






Sheila A. M. Rauch
Shawn P. Cahill

Original Work Citation

Rauch, S. A. M., & Cahill, S. P. (2003, August). Treatment and prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder. Primary Psychiatry, 10(8), 60-65



“Treatment and prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 23, 2021,

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