A multisite randomized controlled effectiveness trial of cognitive processing therapy for military-related posttraumatic stress disorder

J Anxiety Disord. 2012 Apr;26(3):442-52. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2012.01.006. Epub 2012 Jan 24.


Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is currently applied in military veteran mental health services in many countries. This study tests the effectiveness of community-administered CPT for military-related PTSD under randomized controlled conditions. Fifty-nine treatment-seeking veterans with military-related PTSD were randomly allocated to receive 12 twice-weekly 60 min sessions of CPT or an equivalent period of usual treatment at veterans' community based counseling services. Intent to treat analyses found significantly greater improvement for participants receiving CPT over usual treatment at post-treatment and 3 month follow-up. CPT also produced greater improvements in anxiety, depression, social and dyadic relationships than usual treatment. No CPT related adverse events occurred during the trial. This trial reports the first randomized controlled trial evidence that CPT is an effective treatment for military PTSD and co-morbid conditions when compared to usual treatment and delivered in community settings by clinicians from diverse disciplines, preferred treatment orientation and levels of experience.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Combat Disorders / psychology
  • Combat Disorders / therapy*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veterans / psychology*