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Posttraumatic stress disorder: Overview of evidence-based assessment and treatment


Lancaster, CL and Teeters, JB and Gros, DF and Back, SE, Posttraumatic stress disorder: Overview of evidence-based assessment and treatment, Journal of Clinical Medicine, 5, (11) pp. 1-13. ISSN 2077-0383 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/jcm5110105


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic psychological disorder that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event. This review summarizes the literature on the epidemiology, assessment, and treatment of PTSD. We provide a review of the characteristics of PTSD along with associated risk factors, and describe brief, evidence-based measures that can be used to screen for PTSD and monitor symptom changes over time. In regard to treatment, we highlight commonly used, evidence-based psychotherapies and pharmacotherapies for PTSD. Among psychotherapeutic approaches, evidence-based approaches include cognitive-behavioral therapies (e.g., Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. A wide variety of pharmacotherapies have received some level of research support for PTSD symptom alleviation, although selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have the largest evidence base to date. However, relapse may occur after the discontinuation of pharmacotherapy, whereas PTSD symptoms typically remain stable or continue to improve after completion of evidence-based psychotherapy. After reviewing treatment recommendations, we conclude by describing critical areas for future research.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:memory, PTSD, Amygdala
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Cellular nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
ID Code:145136
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:76
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2021-07-02
Last Modified:2021-10-25
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