Effects of an Internet-based Intervention for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

B

Berlin Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims

Status

Completed

Conditions

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Treatments

Behavioral: Exposure for PTSD without cognitive restructuring
Behavioral: Exposure for PTSD with cognitive restructuring

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other

Identifiers

NCT01508377
CTTV-001

Details and patient eligibility

About

For several years now, a very successful treatment of posttraumatic stress disorders has been offered in the Netherlands and in Germany. The contact between clients and therapists takes place exclusively via Internet. The therapists follow a scientifically tested treatment protocol, that defines fixed treatment elements that are adapted to the specific situation of the client. The participants can write at home, in their familiar environment which makes it easier to work on trauma related issues with their therapist. In the last years the treatment was offered in Arabic as well indicating to be an effective treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Arabic-speaking countries. The treatment lasts five weeks. During that time-frame, participants write several texts. The participants decide when they want to write. Each time after having received two texts, the therapists provide feedback and further instructions. The therapists are all trained psychologists, who have received additional training in the interpretation of texts and for the application of the treatment protocol. The investigators hypothesize that both interventions will significantly improve clinical symptoms of PTSD. Furthermore, the investigators expect improvements in secondary outcomes such as anxiety, depression and quality of life.

Full description

Background: For several years now, a very successful treatment of posttraumatic stress disorders has been offered in the Netherlands and in Germany. The contact between clients and therapists takes place exclusively via Internet. The therapists follow a scientifically tested treatment protocol, that defines fixed treatment elements that are adapted to the specific situation of the client. The participants can write at home, in their familiar environment which makes it easier to work on trauma related issues with their therapist. In the last years the treatment was offered in Arabic as well indicating to be an effective treatment for PTSD in Arabic-speaking countries. Method: Traumatized Arabic-speaking participants are allocated at random to a long version (10 sessions) of a manualized writing approach over 6 weeks or to a short version, where the part concerning the cognitive restructuring is excluded. The investigators expect the treatment to be useful for traumatized clients, especially for those who have no access to psychological help otherwise and they hypothesize that both interventions will significantly improve clinical symptoms of PTSD. Furthermore, the investigators expect improvements in secondary outcomes such as anxiety, depression and quality of life. Additionally the investigators are interested, if the short form where the cognitive part is excluded and the focus will be more on confrontation is effective similarly. Conclusion: If the interventions prove to be an effective treatment for PTSD in Arabic-speaking countries, the results will lend to support to the establishment of internet-based approaches, especially in countries, where face-to-face therapy cannot be provided. Furthermore a shorter treatment could improve the compliance of the participants, particularly in post-conflict regions where people cannot attend long therapeutic interventions.

Enrollment

293 patients

Sex

All

Ages

18+ years old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • traumatic experience
  • must suffer from posttraumatic stress
  • must be fluent in written Arabic
  • must have access to the Internet during the treatment

Exclusion criteria

  • suicidal intentions
  • substance abuse
  • psychotic experience
  • dissociation
  • currently receiving psychotherapy elsewhere
  • pregnancy

Trial design

Primary purpose

Treatment

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

None (Open label)

293 participants in 2 patient groups

Treatment of PTSD with cognitive restructuring
Experimental group
Description:
In this arm the PTSD treatment can be divided into three phases. First phase: self-confrontation (4 essays) Second phase: cognitive restructuring (4 essays) Third phase: parting (2 essays)
Treatment:
Behavioral: Exposure for PTSD with cognitive restructuring
Treatment of PTSD without cognitive restructuring
Experimental group
Description:
In this arm the PTSD treatment can be divided into only two phases. Compared to the other arm the phase dealing with cognitive restructuring is excluded. First phase: self-confrontation (4 essays) Second phase: parting (2 essays)
Treatment:
Behavioral: Exposure for PTSD without cognitive restructuring

Trial contacts and locations

0

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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