A Comparison of Cognitive Processing Therapy and Seeking Safety for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans

Muhammad R. Baig, Shuang Ouyang, Emma Mata-Galán, Michael A. Dawes, John D. Roache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To compare the outcomes of Seeking Safety (SS) and cognitive processing therapy (CPT) in veterans with PTSD in a specialty clinic of an urban VA medical center. Retrospective chart review of electronic medical records was conducted for 420 veterans with PTSD who received treatment with either CPT (n = 227) or SS (n = 193) in group setting. 1) treatment completion rate, 2) self-reported PTSD symptom severity measured by PTSD checklist (PCL), and 3) additional mental health services received within 12 months after treatment. Data were analyzed for the 160 who had both a pre and post PCL documented in their charts. The final analysis sample included n = 94 for CPT and n = 66 for SS veterans with a mean age of 49.71[SD = 14] years, 24 women [15%]; mean baseline PCL score was 68.41 [9]. Significantly more veterans completed SS treatment (SS, 59 [89%] than CPT, 47 [50%] (p = <.001). However, PCL score decreases were significantly greater for patients who completed CPT treatment than those in SS (treatment x time interaction, 9.60 vs.4.98, respectively; difference, 4.62; t84 = 2.16; p =.02). The patients who received SS used significantly more mental health services of the PTSD clinical team than patients who completed CPT treatment (p =.01). The results of this study demonstrate the need for alternative approaches where dually diagnosed patients would not be delayed in their receipt of trauma-focused care – i.e., where treatment is initiated concurrently rather than sequentially to substance abuse treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-750
Number of pages16
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Volume92
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Cognitive processing therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Military veterans
  • PTSD
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Seeking safety
  • Substance use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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