Last updated on October 2018

Brief Restructuring Intervention Following Trauma Exposure


Brief description of study

The broad aim of this study is to develop and test a brief intervention that can be implemented in the immediate weeks following sexual assault to decrease likelihood of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or alcohol misuse. The first phase of the study will enroll 6 women to complete a brief, cognitive therapy protocol and provide feedback on the intervention (open trial). The second phase of the study will recruit 76 women to complete either the intervention (38 women) or assessment only (38 women) to test the effects of the intervention on both PTSD symptoms and alcohol use behavior as compared to natural recovery following assault.

Detailed Study Description

Following sexual assault a substantial number of victims will go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or alcohol use disorders (AUD), and development of these disorders is costly to both the victim and society as a whole. Intervening early, in the initial weeks following sexual assault, can provide victims with coping strategies that can decrease the likelihood of developing chronic symptoms. Cognitive approaches for treating symptoms of PTSD have strong empirical support with chronic presentation of symptoms. Less is known about effective strategies for intervening acutely following sexual assault. This project is designed to adapt existing empirically supported cognitive treatment principles for both PTSD and AUD symptoms to be delivered acutely (within 10 weeks of assault) in a brief one session format followed by 4 weekly coaching calls. The first 6 participants enrolled will receive the intervention and provide us with feedback on strengths and weaknesses of the protocol to help us improve it (Open Trial). In the next phase, the pilot testing phase, the study will enroll 38 women to complete the one session intervention followed by 4 once per week coaching calls. Participants will then be assessed again for symptoms of PTSD and alcohol use behavior at 3 month follow-up. This brief intervention group will be compared at the 3 month follow-up to a group of 38 women who receive weekly symptom monitoring only. Thus, this research aims to provide information on the efficacy of the intervention compared to the natural recovery process. This research is significant in its potential to use a very brief and easy to access treatment to decrease the development of chronic psychopathology in a high risk group of women.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02808468

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Michele Bedard-Gilligan

University of Washington
Seattle, WA United States
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