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The effects of interpersonal support on treatment outcomes using cognitive processing therapy

APA Citation:

Nason, E. E., Borah, E. V., Hale, W. J., Schuster Wachen, J., Dondanville, K. A., Mintz, J., Litz, B. T., Yarvis, J. S., Young-McCaughan, S., Peterson, A. L., Resick, P. A. (2021). The effects of interpersonal support on treatment outcomes using cognitive processing therapy. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 45, 679-688. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-020-10181-6

Abstract Created by REACH:

Although it is likely that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and social supports affect one another over time, it is unclear which has a stronger effect. Do social supports work to reduce PTSD symptoms, or do PTSD symptoms erode social supports? This study examined the direction of effects between PTSD and social supports over six weeks, using a sample of 227 active-duty Service members who participated in a randomized controlled trial testing the effectiveness of cognitive processing therapy in individual and group formats. Three different forms of social support were measured: appraisal (i.e., the ability to get guidance or advice); belonging (i.e., receiving acceptance and concern from others); and tangible (i.e., obtaining material assistance, such as money, from others). PTSD symptoms appeared to have a stronger negative effect on social supports than social supports had on PTSD.

Focus:

Mental health
Programming

Branch of Service:

Army

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member

Population:

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

Methodology:

Longitudinal Study
Quantitative Study
Secondary Analysis
Randomized Control Trial

Authors:

Nason, Erica E., Borah, Elisa V., Hale, Willie J., Wachen, Jennifer Schuster, Dondanville, Katherine A., Mintz, Jim, Litz, Brett T., Yarvis, Jeffrey S., Young-McCaughan, Stacey, Peterson, Alan L., Resick, Patricia A., for the, Strong Star Consortium

Abstract:

Background Although there has been research connecting PTSD and social support, there has been little research on effects of treatment, especially in military samples. The current study examined the relationship between these variables over the course of PTSD treatment and assessed differences based on treatment modality (i.e. group versus individual). Methods Participants were 322 active duty service members in a randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of group and individual Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) treatment modalities and were assessed for PTSD symptoms and social support both prior to and upon completion treatment. Cross-lagged regression models were used to examine stability and lagged effects between PTSD severity and dimensions of social support from pre- to post-treatment. Results Lower levels of pre-treatment PTSD severity were associated with higher levels of post-treatment social support across all three subscales (all b ’s at least -.15, p < .02). The only significant difference based on treatment modality was a stronger relationship between pre- and post-treatment PTSD severity for those who received group CPT compared to participants who received individual CPT, consistent with previous findings. Conclusions Recommendations for improving social support during PTSD treatment through modalities, such as family-centered models or social skills training, are discussed.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

Springer

Publication Type:

Article
REACH Publication
Featured Research

Author Affiliation:

School of Social Work, Texas State University, EEN
School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, EVB
Department of Psychology, University of Texas at San Antonio, WJH
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, WJH
Women’s Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, JSW
Deparment of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, JSW
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, KAD
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, JM
Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiological Research and Information Center, VA Boston Healthcare System, BTL
Deparment of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, BTL
Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, JSY
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, SYM
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, ALP
Research and Development Service, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, ALP
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, PAR

Keywords:

posttraumatic stress disorder, social support, military, treatment outcomes, treatment modality

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

Sponsors:

U.S. Department of Defence

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