Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 17, 100507. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2019.100507
Although there are a number of effective treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there is a need to develop more efficient evidence-based PTSD treatments to address barriers to seeking and receiving treatment. Written exposure therapy (WET) is a potential alternative that is a 5-session treatment without any between- session assignments. WET has demonstrated efficacy, and low treatment dropout rates. However, prior studies with WET have primarily focused on civilian samples. Identifying efficient PTSD treatments for military service members is critical given the high prevalence of PTSD in this population. The current ongoing randomized clinical trial builds upon the existing literature by investigating whether WET is equally efficacious as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) in a sample of 150 active duty military service members diagnosed with PTSD who are randomly assigned to either WET (n = 75) or CPT (n = 75). Participants are assessed at baseline and 10, 20, and 30 weeks after the first treatment session. The primary outcome measure is PTSD symptom severity assessed with the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5. Given the prevalence of PTSD and the aforementioned limitations of currently available first-line PTSD treatments, the identification of a brief, efficacious treatment that is associated with reduced patient dropout would represent a significant public health development.