To evaluate the outcomes of the antiarousal medications valproate, risperidone, and quetiapine on completion of treatment of cognitive processing therapy (CPT) for PTSD. A case series of fifty treatment-seeking adult (≥18 years) veterans with mild traumatic brain injury and combat-related PTSD who had unsuccessful trials of 2 or more first-line agents and previously declined treatment with trauma-focused therapy, seen at the psychiatric outpatient services of the local Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2017. Patients were prescribed valproate (n = 8), risperidone (n = 17), or quetiapine (n = 25) and were referred for individual weekly treatment with CPT. Outcome measurements of interest were measures of engagement and completion rate of CPT, PTSD Checklist total score (range, 0–80; higher scores indicate greater PTSD severity) and arousal subscale score (range, 0–24; higher scores indicate greater arousal severity), and clinical observations of sleep variables. Of the 50 patients included in the study, 48 (96%) were men; mean (SD) age was 36 (8) years. Eighteen (86%) patients initially receiving quetiapine and none taking valproate or risperidone became adequately engaged in and completed CPT. Among patients who completed CPT, the mean decrease in the PTSD Checklist score was 25 [95% CI, 30 to 20] and 9 (50%) patients no longer met criteria for PTSD. These preliminary findings support quetiapine as an adjunctive medication to facilitate CPT. A pragmatic trial is needed to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and feasibility of quetiapine to improve engagement in and completion rate of CPT.
- Evidence-based psychotherapy: Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Mild traumatic brain injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health