Objective: We conducted a long-term follow-up (LTFU) assessment of participants from a randomized controlled trial comparing cognitive processing therapy (CPT) with prolonged exposure (PE) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Competing hypotheses for positive outcomes (i.e., additional therapy, medication) were examined.
Method: Intention-to-treat (ITT) participants were assessed 5-10 years after participating in the study (M = 6.15, SD = 1.22). We attempted to locate the 171 original participants, women with PTSD who had experienced at least one rape. Of 144 participants located, 87.5% were reassessed (N = 126), which constituted 73.7% of the original ITT sample. Self-reported PTSD symptoms were the primary outcome. Clinician-rated PTSD symptoms, comorbid diagnoses, and self-reported depression were secondary outcomes.
Results: Substantial decreases in symptoms due to treatment (as reported in Resick, Nishith, Weaver, Astin, & Feuer, 2002) were maintained throughout the LTFU period, as evidenced by little change over time from posttreatment through follow-up (effect sizes ranging from pr = .03 to .14). No significant differences emerged during the LTFU between the treatment conditions (Cohen's d = 0.06-0.29). The ITT examination of diagnostics indicated that 22.2% of CPT and 17.5% of PE participants met the diagnosis for PTSD according to the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (Blake et al., 1995) at the LTFU. Maintenance of improvements could not be attributed to further therapy or medications.
Conclusions: CPT and PE resulted in lasting changes in PTSD and related symptoms over an extended period of time for female rape victims with extensive histories of trauma.
PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.