Effectiveness of three brief treatments for recent traumatic events in a low-SES community setting

Description

Objective:
To determine whether brief treatments provide psychological relief after traumatic events in low-resource communities.

Method:
Participants (n 105) who had experienced a traumatic event within the past 6 months were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 4-session treatments: individual eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), group-administered stress management with a trauma focus (SMT), or group-administered psychological first aid (PFA). Measures administered pretreatment and at 1-, 3-, and 6-month posttreatment included posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, posttraumatic cognitions (PTCI), and depressive symptoms (BDI).

Results:
The 3 treatment groups all showed significant declines in PTSD, PTCI, and BDI symptoms over time with large prepost effect sizes (median 1-month: 0.96, 3-month: 1.38, 6-month: 1.10). However, the treatment groups showed significantly different rates of decline, with the EMDR group showing the fastest declines— interaction PTCI: F(1, 237) 5.85, p .016; depression:, F(1, 239) 4.90, p .028—followed by the SMT and then PFA group. While there were significant differences between the EMDR and PFA groups at the 1- and 3-month follow-ups, there were no significant differences in any of the 3 outcome measures at the 6-month follow-up, nor were there significant differences between groups on PTSD symptoms, F(1, 239) 2.30, p .131.

Conclusion:
This study provides preliminary evidence that any of these 3 approaches may be useful in low-resource community settings. Because it gives the quickest relief, EMDR is the preferred approach, followed by SMT, due its ease of administration. PFA provides a reasonable alternative. Where possible, booster sessions should be planned.

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

Gail Ironson
Emily Hylton
Brian Gonzalez
Brent Small
Blanche Freund
Myriam Gerstein
Fabian Thurston
Lindsay Bira

Original Work Citation

Ironson, G., Hylton, E., Gonzalez, B., Small, B., Freund, B., Gerstain, M., Thurston, F., & Bira, L. (2021). Effectiveness of three brief treatments for recent traumatic events in a low-SES community setting.  Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 13(1), 123–132. doi:10.1037/tra0000594

Collection

Citation

“Effectiveness of three brief treatments for recent traumatic events in a low-SES community setting,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed November 29, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26687.

Output Formats