Comparison of Accelerated Resolution Therapy for PTSD Between Veterans With and Without Prior PTSD Treatment

Tiantian Pang, Lindsay Murn, Dana Williams, Maayan Lawental, Anya Abhayakumar, Kevin E. Kip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder commonly caused by a traumatic event(s) and prevalent among service members and veterans. Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is an emerging "mind-body" psychotherapy for PTSD that is generally briefer and less expensive than current first-line treatments, such as cognitive processing therapy (CPT) and prolonged exposure (PE) therapy. This study examined the results of ART for treatment of military-related PTSD, with stratification by prior PTSD treatment types, including service members/veterans with reported residual PTSD symptoms following receipt of first-line recommended psychotherapy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four groups were constructed and compared based on self-reported prior PTSD treatment history: treatment-naïve (n = 33), pharmacotherapy only (n = 40), first-line psychotherapy (CPT and/or PE) (n = 33), and other psychotherapy (n = 42). Participants were assessed for PTSD symptoms at baseline, post-treatment, and 6-month follow-up using the 17-item Military PTSD Checklist (PCL-M), as well as assessment of depressive, anxiety, and sleep symptoms. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at University of South Florida.

RESULTS: Among 148 veterans/service members who enrolled and started treatment with ART, 106 (71.6%) completed treatment in a mean of 3.5 treatment sessions, and 55 (51.9%) provided 6-month follow-up data. Mean age was 43.8 years, 95% were male, and 84% were of white race. Within-group standardized effect sizes for pre-to-post changes in PTSD scores (PCL-M) were large at 1.48, 1.11, 1.88, and 1.03 for the treatment-naïve, pharmacotherapy only, first-line psychotherapy, and other psychotherapy groups, respectively. Among treatment completers, the clinically significant treatment response rate (reduction of ≥10 points on the PCL-M) was highest in the treatment-naïve (83%) and first-line psychotherapy (88%) groups. Similar significant symptom reductions were observed for measures of depression and anxiety, and favorable treatment effects were generally sustained at 6-month follow-up.

CONCLUSION: In a brief treatment period, ART appears to result in substantial reductions in symptoms of PTSD among veterans, including those with residual PTSD symptoms after prior treatment with first-line psychotherapies endorsed by the U.S. Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs. These results suggest that ART be considered as a potential first-line treatment modality for veterans with PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E621-E629
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 20 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 2021.


  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel/psychology
  • Psychotherapy/methods
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/complications
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veterans/psychology


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