A pilot study of behavioral activation for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder

J Trauma Stress. 2006 Jun;19(3):387-91. doi: 10.1002/jts.20125.


A pilot study was conducted to investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of behavioral activation (BA) therapy for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Eleven veterans seeking treatment at a Veterans Administration outpatient PTSD clinic were enrolled in the study protocol, consisting of 16-weekly individual sessions of BA. Nine veterans completed the protocol, one participant completed 15 sessions, and one dropped out after one session. Clinician-rated PTSD symptom severity showed significant pre- to posttreatment improvement and was associated with a moderate effect size. A number of participants also were improved on measures of depression and quality of life, but changes did not reach statistical significance. Findings suggest that BA is a well-tolerated, potentially beneficial intervention for veterans with chronic symptoms of PTSD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • United States
  • Veterans / psychology*