OBJECTIVES: Therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) endorsed by the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration are relatively lengthy, costly, and yield variable success. We evaluated Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) for the treatment of combat-related psychological trauma.
METHODS: A randomized controlled trial of ART versus an Attention Control (AC) regimen was conducted among 57 U.S. service members/veterans. After random assignment, those assigned to AC were offered crossover to ART, with 3-month follow-up on all participants. Self-report symptoms of PTSD and comorbidities were analyzed among study completers and by the intention-to-treat principle.
RESULTS: Mean age was 41 ± 13 years with 19% female, 54% Army, and 68% with prior PTSD treatment. The ART was delivered in 3.7 ± 1.1 sessions with a 94% completion rate. Mean reductions in symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and trauma-related guilt were significantly greater (p < 0.001) with ART compared to AC. Favorable results for those treated with ART persisted at 3 months, including reduction in aggression (p < 0.0001). Adverse treatment-related events were rare and not serious.
CONCLUSIONS: ART appears to be a safe and effective treatment for symptoms of combat-related PTSD, including refractory PTSD, and is delivered in significantly less time than therapies endorsed by the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration.
- Imagery (Psychotherapy)
- Middle Aged
- Military Personnel
- Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
- Time Factors