Patterns and predictors of change in trauma-focused treatments for war-related posttraumatic stress disorder

Brett T. Litz, Danielle S. Berke, Nora K. Kline, Kevin Grimm, Luke Rusowicz-Orazem, Patricia A. Resick, Edna B. Foa, Jennifer S. Wachen, Carmen P. McLean, Katherine A. Dondanville, Adam M. Borah, John D. Roache, Stacey Young-McCaughan, Jeffrey S. Yarvis, Jim Mintz, Alan L. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: We evaluated patterns and predictors of change from three efficacy trials of trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral treatments (TF-CBT) among service members (N = 702; mean age = 32.88; 89.4% male; 79.8% non-Hispanic/Latino). Rates of clinically significant change were also compared with other trials. METHOD: The trials were conducted in the same setting with identical measures. The primary outcome was symptom severity scores on the PTSD Symptom Scale-Interview Version (PSS-I; Foa, Riggs, Dancu, & Rothbaum, 1993). RESULTS: Symptom change was best explained by baseline scores and individual slopes. TF-CBT was not associated with better slope change relative to Present-Centered Therapy, a comparison arm in 2 trials. Lower baseline scores (β = .33, p < .01) and higher ratings of treatment credibility (β = -.22, p < .01) and expectancy for change (β = -.16, p < .01) were associated with greater symptom change. Older service members also responded less well to treatment (β = .09, p < .05). Based on the Jacobson and Truax (1991) metric for clinically significant change, 31% of trial participants either recovered or improved. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians should individually tailor treatment for service members with high baseline symptoms, older patients, and those with low levels of credibility and expectancy for change. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1019-1029
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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