Intensive Outpatient Program Using Prolonged Exposure for Combat-Related PTSD: A Case Study

for the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although prolonged exposure (PE) has been identified as a first-line treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), research has found that military service members and veterans have smaller reductions in symptom severity compared to civilians. The nature of trauma in a deployed combat setting and the unique complexities of military culture have been proposed as explanations for greater rates of PTSD and poorer treatment response to first-line psychotherapies in military and veteran populations. This paper presents a case study to highlight how a novel, intensive outpatient program utilizing prolonged exposure therapy (IOP-PE) may benefit military personnel with combat-related PTSD. The patient is a Caucasian man in his early 40s seeking treatment for PTSD after more than 10 years of enlisted, active duty military service across two branches and three combat deployments. The IOP-PE includes the standard PE components and eight, nonstandard treatment augmentations tailored for military personnel. In contrast to standard PE, which typically is delivered weekly over several months, IOP-PE consists of 15 daily, 90-minute PE sessions conducted over 3 weeks. The patient demonstrated large reductions on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (28 points) and PTSD Checklist (48 points) by the 6-month posttreatment follow-up point. Findings provide support for conducting further research that determines whether IOP-PE is effective and tolerable in military and veteran populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • combat-related PTSD
  • intensive outpatient program
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • prolonged exposure therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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