The Impact of Military Status on Cognitive Processing Therapy Outcomes in the Community

Kirsten H. Dillon, Stefanie T. LoSavio, Teague R. Henry, Robert A. Murphy, Patricia A. Resick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Military-affiliated individuals (i.e., active duty personnel and veterans) exhibit high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although existing evidence-based treatments for PTSD, such as cognitive processing therapy (CPT), have demonstrated effectiveness with military-affiliated patients, there is evidence to suggest these individuals do not benefit as much as civilians. However, few studies have directly compared the effects of PTSD treatment between civilian and military-affiliated participants. The current study compared treatment outcomes of military-affiliated and civilian patients receiving CPT. Participants with PTSD who were either civilians (n = 136) or military-affiliated (n = 63) received CPT from community-based providers in training for CPT. Results indicated that military-affiliated participants were equally likely to complete treatment, Log odds ratio (OR) = 0.14, p =.648. Although military-affiliated participants exhibited reductions in PTSD, B = −2.53, p <.001; and depression symptoms, B = −0.65, p <.001, they experienced smaller reductions in symptoms relative to civilians: B = 1.15, p =.015 for PTSD symptoms and B = 0.29, p =.029 for depression symptoms. Furthermore, variability estimates indicated there was more variability in providers’ treatment of military-affiliated versus civilian participants (i.e., completion rates and symptom reduction). These findings suggest that military-affiliated patients can be successfully retained in trauma-focused treatment in the community at the same rate as civilian patients, and they significantly improve in PTSD and depression symptoms although not as much as civilians. These findings also highlight community providers’ variability in treatment of military-affiliated patients, providing support for more military-cultural training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-336
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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