Game-changing results from Australia’s largest ever treatment trial of PTSD in military personnel and veterans
New research reveals posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a serious and disabling mental disorder – can be treated with intensive daily exposure therapy over two weeks, rather than the typical prolonged weekly exposure over three months.
Led by Phoenix Australia Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, researchers developed the national Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery (RESTORE) trial to study whether a faster treatment of PTSD could deliver equal, or better mental health benefits.
The results showed that intensive treatment was equally effective in significantly reducing symptoms of PTSD in almost all participants. These findings can overcome a significant barrier for people who may only have brief windows of time to receive treatment.
Lead researcher Associate Professor Lisa Dell said that as well as finding that intensive exposure is equally effective, the study also found that participants were almost four times more likely to complete the treatment program in its entirety.
“We know that many military personnel and veterans experience a range of barriers to uptake of trauma focused therapies that extend over longer periods of time. The opportunity to be in the same place for long periods of time for example, may not exist and this makes it more difficult to commit to and engage with effective treatment.”
This innovative new therapy, developed in Australia, is now being offered to veterans and their families through Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling.