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Characteristics and treatment preferences of people with symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: an internet survey


Spence, J and Titov, N and Solley, K and Dear, B and Johnston, L and Wootton, B and Kemp, A and Andrews, G and Zou, J and Lorian, C and Choi, I, Characteristics and treatment preferences of people with symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: an internet survey, PLoS One, 6, (7) Article e21864. ISSN 1932-6203 (2011) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021864


Background: Although Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe and disabling anxiety disorder, relatively few people with this condition access evidence-based care. Barriers to treatment are multiple and complex, but the emerging field of Internet therapy for PTSD may improve access to evidence-based treatment. However, little is known about the characteristics of people with PTSD who seek online treatment, or whether they perceive internet treatment as an acceptable treatment option.

Methodology: An online survey was used to collect information about the demographic and symptom characteristics of individuals with elevated levels of PTSD symptoms, and this was compared to data from corresponding sample from a national survey. Previous treatment experiences, perceived barriers to treatment and treatment preferences for Internet therapy and face-to-face treatment were also compared.

Principal Findings: High levels of PTSD symptoms were reported by survey respondents. Psychological distress and disability was greater than reported by individuals with PTSD from a national survey. Half of the sample reported not having received treatment for PTSD; however, 88% of those who reported receiving treatment stated they received an evidence-based treatment. Primary barriers to treatment included cost, poor awareness of service availability, lack of prior treatment response and not perceiving personal distress as severe enough to warrant treatment. Most survey respondents indicated they were willing to try Internet treatment for PTSD.

Conclusions: The Internet sample was symptomatically severe and multiple barriers existed to treatment. Internet therapy is an acceptable option for the treatment of PTSD in an internet sample.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:treatment, posttraumatic stress disorder
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Mental health services
UTAS Author:Wootton, B (Dr Bethany Wootton)
ID Code:93531
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2014-08-06
Last Modified:2014-11-27
Downloads:348 View Download Statistics

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