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Demonstrating the Efficacy of Group Prolonged Exposure Treatment of PTSD in OEF/OIF/OND Male Veterans

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Technical Report,10 Nov 2014,09 Nov 2015

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Biomedical Research Institute of New Mexico Albuquerque United States

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This study will establish the efficacy of delivering prolonged exposure for the treatment of PTSD in a group format. The study population is male OEFOIFOND veterans who will be block randomized in groups of 3 into a 10-week, 90-minute, Prolonged Exposure Group PEG or Present-Centered Therapy PCT group. The goal of the PEG therapy is to promote emotional processing of the trauma memory and desensitize anxiety reactions to trauma memories, so that memories or situations no longer result in anxious arousal to trauma followed by escape or avoidance behaviors. PCT is a non-trauma focused treatment for PTSD, where the mechanisms of change include altering current maladaptive relational patterns and behaviors, providing psycho-education regarding the relationship between trauma and current relational patterns and behaviors, and teaching the use of problem solving strategies to address present life problems. Hypothesis 1. The Prolonged Exposure Group treatment will significantly lower PTSD symptoms compared to the Present-Centered Therapy control group. Hypothesis 2. While subjects in both groups will improve in self-reported overall PTSD symptomatology, the PEG will show greater within group improvement compared to the PCT group. Hypothesis 3. Perceived stigma associated with having a PTSD diagnosis and seeking treatment will significantly decrease for subjects in the PEG compared with subjects in the PCT group.

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