Therapies for soldiers and veterans

How is PTSD relevant to soldiers and veterans?

Soldiers and veterans have exposure to life threatening stressors, including combat, injury, and witnessing suffering and death. These traumatic combat experiences are often less straightforward than single traumatic events, which may decrease PTSD treatment effectiveness. Interventions that may be effective for PTSD in soldiers and veterans include eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing, exposure therapy, cognitive therapy, cognitive restructuring therapy, cognitive processing therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy, and stress management.

What is the evidence on therapies for PTSD symptoms in soldiers and veterans?

Moderate to low quality evidence found large improvements in PTSD symptoms in military and veteran samples following treatment with psychological therapies. Treatments involving more trauma-focussed sessions were most effective, and exposure therapies were more effective than stress management. Individual therapies were more effective than group therapies. Veterans with particularly low or high pre-treatment symptom severity showed less symptom improvement than veterans with moderate pre-treatment symptom severity.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 6:48 am, 26th August 2021
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