Conducting prolonged exposure for PTSD during the COVID-19 pandemic: Considerations for treatment.

Fina, B. A., Wright, E. C., Rauch, S. A. M., Norman, S. B., Acierno, R., Cuccurullo, L.-A. J., Dondanville, K. A., Moring, J. C., Brown, L. A., & Foa, E. B.
Nov 1, 2021

Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 28(4), 532–542.

The unprecedented effects and duration of the COVID-19 crisis are likely to elevate the population’s level of anxiety due to psychological stress, economic hardship, and social isolation. This effect may be especially potent for individuals with preexisting mental health conditions, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy is a highly effective treatment for PTSD across trauma-exposed populations, and has been implemented effectively via telehealth. Nevertheless, PE implementation via telehealth may require specific adaptations during the COVID-19 crisis due to public health mandates calling for sheltering in place and physical distancing. This paper discusses strategies for implementing PE for PTSD during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may also be applied to other situations in which physical distancing must be considered.