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 militaryrelated 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-naive (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-naive, 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-naive (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 - 1 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center under Contract W81XWH-10-1-0719 and by funding support from the Chris T. Sullivan Foundation.

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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