In adults with post-traumatic stress disorder, which group intervention is most effective in improving patient outcomes?
Group therapies can be beneficial and effective in improving
symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, more research
comparing group therapies needs to be conducted to determine the
most effective intervention across populations.
Clinical and research implications
Moderate quality evidence from four RCTs indicates that group
therapies can be effective in treating PTSD. All four RCTs compared
different types of group therapies and there was some evidence that
mindfulness-based stress reduction and group cognitive processing
therapy were more effective than group present-centred therapy for
improving PTSD severity and depression. Group psychotherapy
education significantly improved forgiveness compared to supportive
group therapy, but had no effect on PTSD and psychiatric symptoms.
However all the research was conducted in the USA in specific
populations (women in prison, war veterans or active soldiers) and
might not be generalisable to other settings.
More well-designed trials of psychological therapies in
comparison with each other, either alone or in combination are
required. Further research into group therapy in incarcerated
populations and military personnel is also needed.
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