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Bring your spouse: Brief multifamily group outcome for posttraumatic stress disorder

APA Citation:

Elder, W. B., Rochester, N. K., Rentz, T. O., & Auster, T. L. (2022). Bring your spouse: Brief multifamily group outcome for posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0001287

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) adapted from the Reaching out to Educate and Assist Caring Healthy Families (REACH) program. The adapted program, PTSD 102, is a weekly, 60-minute, group-based psychoeducation treatment for PTSD. Enrolled Veterans were encouraged to attend with a family member or friend who might provide emotional support during treatment. 101 Veterans completed questionnaires on PTSD symptoms, depressive symptoms, and demographics (e.g., race, years of service) before and immediately following the 8 sessions. Overall, PTSD symptoms decreased immediately following the program.


Mental health

Branch of Service:

Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:


Subject Affiliation:

Spouse of service member or veteran


Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)


Longitudinal Study
Quantitative Study


Elder, William B., Rochester, Natalie K., Rentz, Timothy O., Auster, Tracey L.


OBJECTIVE: There has been little evidence supporting the efficacy of psychoeducation as a stand-alone approach to alleviate posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study examined the efficacy of a stand-alone psychoeducation PTSD intervention using a group format that incorporated the option of bringing an emotional support person to sessions. METHOD: PTSD 102 is an eight-session, 1-hr, weekly intervention for veterans and their family members. Pre- and posttreatment symptom measurement data were analyzed from 101 veteran men and women seeking outpatient treatment in a PTSD Clinical Team clinic at a Veteran Health care outpatient facility. RESULTS: Paired-samples t tests were performed, which demonstrated a significant difference in the scores for pretreatment PTSD symptoms (M = 55.049, SD = 14.585) and posttreatment scores (M = 45.696, SD = 17.814); t(100) = 8.496, p < .001. The effect size was d = .843. Additionally, there was a significant difference in the scores for pretreatment depressive symptoms (M = 17.000, SD = 6.183) and posttreatment scores (M = 13.608, SD = 6.229); t(89) = 7.106, p < .001. The effect size was d = .749. CONCLUSIONS: Results from this study suggest that integrating emotional support individuals into a psychoeducational PTSD treatment group had a significant impact on mental health symptoms for veteran participants.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

American Psychological Association

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

South Texas Veterans Health Care System, WBE
South Texas Veterans Health Care System, TOR
South Texas Veterans Health Care System, TLA
Michael E. DeBakey Veteran Health Care System, NKR


PTSD, family therapy, group therapy

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  November 2022

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