Background: Traumatic events involve loss of resources, which has consistently been found to be associated with developing stress-related illness such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Objective: The purpose of this systematic literature review was to determine if there is evidence for the salutatory effect of resource gain on PTSD, and if there are intervention models that utilize and assess gain in PTSD. Data Sources: All relevant online databases were systematically searched using key terms and a method, detailed in Figure 1. Results: Of 22 relevant articles, there were three intervention studies, one longitudinal naturalistic study, eleven non-intervention association studies focusing on PTSD, and eight non-intervention association studies not focusing on PTSD. The intervention and naturalistic studies showed a significant positive effect on PTSD by specifically targeting the gain of resources during an intervention. Other non-intervention research supports the notion that resource loss is pathogenic and resource gain is beneficial after traumatic exposure. Conclusions: Interventions that develop and assess effects of gain of various types of resources on stress-related illness should be encouraged. Interventions that already have proven efficacy for PTSD might include standardized assessment of resource loss and gain to further understand mechanisms of action.
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