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J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(11), 105; doi:10.3390/jcm5110105

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Overview of Evidence-Based Assessment and Treatment

1
Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 109 Bee Street, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
2
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, 5 Charleston Center Drive, Suite 151, Charleston, SC 29401, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Frances Kay Lambkin and Emma Barrett
Received: 1 October 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 13 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 2016)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [220 KB, uploaded 22 November 2016]

Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic psychological disorder that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event. This review summarizes the literature on the epidemiology, assessment, and treatment of PTSD. We provide a review of the characteristics of PTSD along with associated risk factors, and describe brief, evidence-based measures that can be used to screen for PTSD and monitor symptom changes over time. In regard to treatment, we highlight commonly used, evidence-based psychotherapies and pharmacotherapies for PTSD. Among psychotherapeutic approaches, evidence-based approaches include cognitive-behavioral therapies (e.g., Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. A wide variety of pharmacotherapies have received some level of research support for PTSD symptom alleviation, although selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have the largest evidence base to date. However, relapse may occur after the discontinuation of pharmacotherapy, whereas PTSD symptoms typically remain stable or continue to improve after completion of evidence-based psychotherapy. After reviewing treatment recommendations, we conclude by describing critical areas for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder; evidence based; empirically supported; assessment; psychotherapy; pharmacotherapy; prolonged exposure; cognitive processing therapy; eye movement desensitization and reprocessing; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors posttraumatic stress disorder; evidence based; empirically supported; assessment; psychotherapy; pharmacotherapy; prolonged exposure; cognitive processing therapy; eye movement desensitization and reprocessing; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lancaster, C.L.; Teeters, J.B.; Gros, D.F.; Back, S.E. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Overview of Evidence-Based Assessment and Treatment. J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5, 105.

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