Study examines the potential for immediate PTSD treatment options
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety condition that can occur in anyone of any age following a traumatic event that threatens an individual with the possibility of injury or death.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety condition that can occur in anyone of any age following a traumatic event that threatens an individual with the possibility of injury or death. Those commonly attributed with the symptoms of PTSD or anxiety disorders, for example, include combat veterans and people who were somehow involved - either directly or from the loss of a loved one - with the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Analyzing the effects of behavioral intervention in reducing PTSD reactions post-trauma, a new study was conducted by a number of researchers and Barbara Rothbaum, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and director of the Trauma and Anxiety Program at Emory University School of Medicine.
To start the program, Rothbaum and her team of researchers presented the behavioral intervention treatment to certain individuals admitted into the local emergency room following a traumatic event that included cases of rape, car accidents and physical assaults. The therapy was then administered to half of those patients who agreed to begin the program, while the control group received weekly assessments for depression and stress only.
"If we know what to do, then we can train emergency workers to intervene with patients on a large scale," explained Rothbaum. "In addition to being implemented in the emergency room, it can help on the battlefield, in natural disasters or after criminal assaults."
A lingering condition
"PTSD is a major public health concern," Rothbaum said. "In so many people, what happens immediately after a traumatic event can make things worse or better. Right now, there are no accepted interventions delivered in the immediate aftermath of trauma."