Treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: An assessment of the evidence


This report was commissioned by the Department of Veterans Affairs to assess the scientific evidence on treatment modalities for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Reviewing the PTSD treatment literature dating back to 1980, the year the disorder was first defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, proved to be a challenging task. Assessing the outcomes of treatment depends entirely upon the self-report of those affected, without “objective” measures such as laboratory tests or imaging. Treatment modalities and research methods used in their evaluation have been in continuous development. The last 30 years have also seen dramatic changes in the way scientific evidence has been assessed in general with emerging international standards for conducting systematic qualitative and quantitative reviews that are quite different from the methods used in the 1980s when research on the treatment of PTSD began.






Committee on Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Institute of Medicine



“Treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: An assessment of the evidence,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed January 21, 2021,

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