Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 46

Search results for: PTSD

46 The Mediation Effect of PTSD and Aggression on the Relationship of Childhood Physical Abuse and Suicidal Behavior in Homeless People

Authors: Jina Hong, Seongeun Ryu, Sungeun You


Suicide rate among homeless people are much higher than one in the general population. The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating effect of PTSD and aggression in the relationship between childhood physical abuse and suicidal behavior among homeless people. One hundred one homeless were recruited from street and shelters in Korea. Face-to-face interviews were conducted by master’s level graduate students or facility employees of shelters. All participants completed the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R), Life History of Aggression Questionnaire (LHAQ), Primary Care PTSD (PC-PTSD), and Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire (TLEQ). The average age of homeless people participated in the study was 55.2 years (SD = 10.7) with the age range of 30 to 87. Results indicated that PTSD symptoms and aggression fully mediated the relationship between childhood physical abuse and suicidal behavior among the homeless. These findings suggest the need for trauma-informed care for the homeless, and warrant the need for psychological services for PTSD and aggression in order to reduce suicide risk among homeless people.

Keywords: aggression, homeless, PTSD, suicidal behavior

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45 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Management at the Montfort Hospital

Authors: Kay-Anne Haykal, Issack Biyong


The post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rises from exposure to a traumatic event and appears by a persistent experience of this event. Several psychiatric co-morbidities are associated with PTSD and include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. The main objective was to compare the criteria for PTSD according to the literature to those used to diagnose a patient in a francophone hospital and to check the correspondence of these two criteria. 700 medical charts of admitted patients on the medicine or psychiatric unit at the Montfort Hospital were identified with the following diagnoses: major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, substance abuse, and PTSD for the period of time between April 2005 and March 2006. Multiple demographic criteria were assembled. Also, for every chart analyzed, the PTSD criteria, according to the Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV were found, identified, and grouped according to pre-established codes. An analysis using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) method was elaborated for the study of data. A sample of 57 women and 50 men was studied. Age was varying between 18 and 88 years with a median age of 48. According to the PTSD criteria in the DSM IV, 12 patients should have the diagnosis of PTSD in opposition to only two identified in the medical charts. The ROC method establishes that with the combination of data from PTSD and depression, the sensitivity varies between 0,127 and 0,282, and the specificity varies between 0,889 and 0,917. Otherwise, if we examine the PTSD data alone, the sensibility jumps to 0.50, and the specificity varies between 0,781 and 0,895. This study confirms the presence of an underdiagnosed and treated PTSD that causes severe perturbations for the affected individual.

Keywords: post-traumatic stress disorder, co-morbidities, diagnosis, mental health disorders

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44 COVID-19-Related Posttraumatic Distress Syndrome among Jordanian Nurses during the Pandemic

Authors: Mohammed Qutishat, Loai Abu Sharour, Kholoud Al-Damery, Ibtisam Al Harthy, Sulaiman Al-Sabei


Background: The 2019 coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic and has greatly affected both patients and healthcare workers. This study was conducted to explore the extent of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experiences among nurses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan. Method: This study used a cross-sectional study design with a convenience sampling approach. A sample of 259 participants completed the study questionnaires, including a sociodemographic questionnaire and the posttraumatic stress disorder checklist for DSM‐5, between May and July 2020. Result: The prevalence of PTSD among the study participants was 37.1%. The majority of study participants who exhibited PTSD symptoms presented the lowest level of PTSD (17%). The results indicated significant differences in overall COVID-19-related PTSD according to the participant’s age (F = 14.750, P = .000), gender (F = 30.340, P = .000), level of education (F = 51.983, P =.000), years of experience (F = 52.33, P = .000), place of work (F = 19.593, P = .000), and working position (F = 11.597, P = .000), as determined by one-way ANOVA. Conclusion: Nurses must be qualified and accredited to cope with reported PTSD cases and their consequences in relation to COVID-19 outbreaks. Close collaboration with a multidisciplinary team is required to recognise, manage, and encourage safety literacy among health care professionals and individuals diagnosed with or suspected of PTSD due to COVID-19 outbreaks or any other viral outbreaks.

Keywords: PTSD, nursing, coronavirus, pandemic, infectious disease

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43 Review of Current Literature on Use of Prazosin for Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Related Sleep Disturbances in Child and Adolescent Population

Authors: Davit Khachatryan, Shuo Xiang


Numerous published studies on the use of prazosin in the treatment of PTSD-related sleep disturbances in adult population have resulted in updates to the recommendation for prazosin for nightmares that showed its strength of evidence elevated from C to B in the US Department of Veterans Affairs clinical practice guideline. In addition, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine clinical practice guideline gave prazosin a level-A recommendation for the treatment of PTSD-associated nightmares. The aim of this review is to summarize the available literature for prazosin use for nightmares and other sleep disturbances in children and adolescents with PTSD. Method: A comprehensive search for studies on prazosin use for sleep disturbances in child and adolescent population with PTSD has been performed. We looked at MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, AMED, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane CENTRAL databases. Results: Compared to adult population with similar psychopathology, the available literature in child and adolescent population is scarce. Despite increased interest in prazosin in the management of PTSD, only six studies investigating this medication in children and adolescents have been published. Conclusion: A large randomized control trial on this topic is needed for more definite evidence on the efficacy and safety of prazosin in the treatment of nightmares in children and adolescents with PTSD.

Keywords: guidelines, prazosin, PTSD, sleep disturbance

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42 A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders

Authors: Ryotaro Ishikawa


INTRODUCTION: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric label for a collection of psychological symptoms following a traumatic event. PTSD is as a result of a traumatic experience such as rape or sexual assault. A victim may have PTSD if she/he has experienced the following symptoms for at least a month: a) Stressor, b) Intrusion symptoms, c) Avoidance, d) Negative alterations in cognitions and mood, e) Alterations in arousal and reactivity. Studies on the cognitive theory of PTSD emphasized the roles of (a) negative appraisals of trauma memories in maintaining the symptomatology of PTSD, and (b) disorganized trauma memories in the development of PTSD. Mental contamination is primarily caused by experiences involving humans (e.g. violators or perpetrators) as opposed to substances (e.g. dirt or bodily fluids). Feelings of mental contamination may evoke following experiences of ill-treatment, sexual assault, domination, degradation, manipulation, betrayal, or humiliation. Some studies have demonstrated that traumatic thoughts related to sexual assault are particularly strong predictors of mental contamination. Treatment protocols based on cognitive-behavioral therapy appear to be beneficial in reducing the severity of PTSD and mental contamination. Studies on the cognitive theory of PTSD emphasized the roles of (A) negative appraisals of trauma memories in maintaining the symptomatology of PTSD, and (B) disorganized trauma memories in the development of PTSD. We will demonstrate a feasibility study of individual CBT for PTSD and mental contamination in Japanese clinical settings. METHOD: The single-arm trial is a group setting CBT intervention. The primary outcome is the self-rated Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale, with secondary measurements of depressive severity and mental pollution questionnaire. Assessments are conducted at baseline, after a waiting period before CBT, during CBT, and after CBT. RESULTS: Participants are eligible for the study and complete the outcome measures at all assessment points. In our hypothesis, receiving CBT would lead to improvements in primary and secondary PTSD severity. CONCLUSION: We will demonstrate a feasibility study of individual CBT for PTSD and mental contamination in Japanese clinical settings. Our treatment would achieve favorable treatment outcomes for PTSD with mental contamination in Japanese clinical settings.

Keywords: CBT, cognitive theory, PTSD, mental pollution

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41 The Role Support Groups Play in Decreasing Depression and PTSD in Cancer Survivors: A Literature Review

Authors: Julianne Macmullen


Due to advances in technology and early detection and treatment of cancer, many cancer patients are surviving longer than five years post-diagnosis. Most cancer patients suffer from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point during diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. A subgroup of patients will continue to suffer from depression and PTSD and require early intervention. Support groups provide patients with the emotional and informational support they require while also giving survivors a sense of community, friendship, and purpose. This type of support is recognized by researchers to improve the quality of life while also decreasing depression and PTSD symptoms. The gaps in the literature include cultural diversity, minorities, and support groups involving cancer types other than breast cancer. Another gap in the literature includes the perceptions of cancer patients as well as longitudinal studies to determine the relationships between support groups and decreased depression and PTSD rates over time. Future research is required to fill the gaps in the literature mentioned previously. Future research is also needed to analyze the difference in age groups and different types of support groups such as professionally-led, peer-led, and online. Implications for practice involve providers assessing for the symptoms of depression and PTSD in order to offer prompt treatment and support services to those patients. In conclusion, social support by way of support groups improves the quality of life, gives survivors a sense of purpose to help others while also gaining the support they need, and reduces the rate of depressive episodes related to PTSD.

Keywords: cancer survivor, survivorship, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, support groups

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40 A Systematic Review of the Transportability of Cognitive Therapy for the Treatment of PTSD among South African Survivors of Rape

Authors: Anita Padmanabhanunni


Trauma-focused cognitive-treatment (CT) models are among the most efficacious in treating PTSD arising from exposure to rape. However, these treatment approaches are severely under-utilised by South African mental health care practitioners owing to concerns around whether treatments developed in Western clinical contexts are transportable and applicable in routine clinical settings. One way of promoting the use of these efficacious treatments in local contexts is by identifying and appraising the evidence from local outcome studies. This paper presents the findings of a systematic review of research evidence from local outcome studies on the effectiveness of CT in the treatment of rape-related PTSD in South Africa. The study found that whilst limited research has been published in South Africa on the outcome of CT in the treatment of rape survivors, the studies that are available afford insights into the effectiveness of CT.

Keywords: cognitive treatment, PTSD, South Africa, transportability

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39 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Problem Alcohol Use in Women: Systematic Analysis

Authors: Neringa Bagdonaite


Study Aims: The current study aimed to systematically analyse various research done in the area of female post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol abuse, and to critically review these results on the basis of theoretical models as well as answer following questions: (I) What is the reciprocal relationship between PTSD and problem alcohol use among females; (II) What are the moderating/mediating factors of this relationship? Methods: The computer bibliographic databases Ebsco, Scopus, Springer, Web of Science, Medline, Science Direct were used to search for scientific articles. Systematic analyses sample consisted of peer-reviewed, English written articles addressing mixed gender and female PTSD and alcohol abuse issues from Jan 2012 to May 2017. Results: Total of 1011 articles were found in scientific databases related to searched keywords of which 29 met the selection criteria and were analysed. The results of longitudinal studies indicate that (I) various trauma, especially interpersonal trauma exposure in childhood is linked with increased risk of revictimization in later life and problem alcohol use; (II) revictimization in adolescence or adulthood, rather than victimization in childhood has a greater impact on the onset and progression of problematic alcohol use in adulthood. Cross-sectional and epidemiological studies also support significant relationships between female PTSD and problem alcohol use. Regards to the negative impact of alcohol use on PTSD symptoms results are yet controversial; some evidence suggests that alcohol does not exacerbate symptoms of PTSD over time, while others argue that problem alcohol use worsens PTSD symptoms and is linked to chronicity of both disorders, especially among women with previous alcohol use problems. Analysis of moderating/mediating factors of PTSD and problem alcohol use revealed, that higher motives/expectancies, specifically distress coping motives for alcohol use significantly moderates the relationship between PTSD and problematic alcohol use. Whereas negative affective states mediate relationship between symptoms of PTSD and alcohol use, but only among woman with alcohol use problems already developed. Conclusions: Interpersonal trauma experience, especially in childhood and its reappearance in lifetime is linked with PTSD symptoms and problem drinking among women. Moreover, problem alcohol use can be both a cause and a consequence of trauma and PTSD, and if used for coping it, increases the likelihood of chronicity of both disorders. In order to effectively treat both disorders, it’s worthwhile taking into account this dynamic interplay of women's PTSD symptoms and problem drinking.

Keywords: female, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, problem alcohol use, systemic analysis

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38 Posttraumatic Stress and Comorbid Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Sri Lankan Adolescents

Authors: Thyagi Ponnamperuma


Background: Comorbidity between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological problems is common. Recent studies focused to investigate the underlying relationship between PTSD and comorbid psychopathologies. Among adolescents, higher rates of emotional and behavioral problems (EBP) have been reported following trauma, often coexisted with PTSD. The current study, thus, examined the relationship of posttraumatic stress symptoms to EBP in adolescents exposed to a variety of traumatic events. Further, the study investigated the relationship of trauma and comorbid PTSS to the self-perceived negative impact of EBP on daily functioning. Methods: Participants were 729 Sri Lankan adolescents (age 12 to 16 years; 54.9% female) living in areas impacted in varying degrees by the 2004 tsunami. In 2008, school-based screening was conducted and completed measures of, trauma exposure, PTSS, EBP, and related functional impairment. Results: Participants reported a high prevalence of trauma exposure (n = 438), including interpersonal violence (n = 155). DSM-IV criteria for full or partial PTSD were met by 23.7% of the trauma-exposed sample. Across all participants, 13.4% and 16.7% displayed clinically relevant levels of EBP and functional impairment, respectively. Among the trauma-exposed, 7% met criteria for both EBP and PTSD. EBP total scores and caseness were significantly higher in trauma-exposed adolescents with PTSD than in either those without PTSD or the non-traumatized control group. In subscale analysis, higher prevalence of serious emotional, conduct, and hyperactivity problems were reported in the PTSD positive group; the PTSD negative group did not differ significantly from the control group on any of the problem scales. In regression analyses, PTSS (β = .28, p < .001) and interpersonal violence (β = .13, p = .033) were significant predictors of EBP, cumulative trauma (β = .11, p = .076) showed no significant effect. Further, PTSS exacerbated the impact of EBP on daily functioning (β = 0.29, p = .023). Conclusion: PTSS were closely linked to EBP in adolescents, even years after the traumatic experience. PTSD and emotional and behavioral problems together pose a heightened risk for impaired daily functioning. Longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the causal pathway.

Keywords: adolescents, comorbidity, emotional and behavioral problems, functional impairment, posttraumatic stress, traumatic events

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37 Study on the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Its Psycho-Social-Genetic Risk Factors among Tibetan Alolescents in Heavily-Hit Area Three Years after Yushu Earthquake in Qinghai Province, China

Authors: Xiaolian Jiang, Dongling Liu, Kun Liu


Aims: To examine the prevalence of POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) symptoms among Tibetan adolescents in heavily-hit disaster area three years after Yushu earthquake, and to explore the interactions of the psycho-social-genetic risk factors. Methods: This was a three-stage study. Firstly, demographic variables,PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C),the Internality、Powerful other、Chance Scale,(IPC),Coping Style Scale(CSS),and the Social Support Appraisal(SSA)were used to explore the psychosocial factors of PTSD symptoms among adolescent survivors. PCL-C was used to examine the PTSD symptoms among 4072 Tibetan adolescents,and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Disorders(SCID)was used by psychiatrists to make the diagnosis precisely. Secondly,a case-control trial was used to explore the relationship between PTSD and gene polymorphisms. 287adolescents diagnosed with PTSD were recruited in study group, and 280 adolescents without PTSD in control group. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism technology(PCR-RFLP)was used to test gene polymorphisms. Thirdly,SPSS 22.0 was used to explore the interactions of the psycho-social-genetic risk factors of PTSD on the basis of the above results. Results and conclusions: 1.The prevalence of PTSD was 9.70%. 2.The predictive psychosocial factors of PTSD included earthquake exposure, support from others, imagine, abreact, tolerant, powerful others and family support. 3.Synergistic interactions between A1 gene of DRD2 TaqIA and the external locus of control, negative coping style, severe earthquake exposure were found. Antagonism interactions between A1 gene of DRD2 TaqIA and poor social support was found. Synergistic interactions between A1/A1 genotype and the external locus of control, negative coping style were found. Synergistic interactions between 12 gene of 5-HTTVNTR and the external locus of control, negative coping style, severe earthquake exposure were found. Synergistic interactions between 12/12 genotype and the external locus of control, negative coping style, severe earthquake exposure were also found.

Keywords: adolescents, earthquake, PTSD, risk factors

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36 Automatic Processing of Trauma-Related Visual Stimuli in Female Patients Suffering From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after Interpersonal Traumatization

Authors: Theresa Slump, Paula Neumeister, Katharina Feldker, Carina Y. Heitmann, Thomas Straube


A characteristic feature of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the automatic processing of disorder-specific stimuli that expresses itself in intrusive symptoms such as intense physical and psychological reactions to trauma-associated stimuli. That automatic processing plays an essential role in the development and maintenance of symptoms. The aim of our study was, therefore, to investigate the behavioral and neural correlates of automatic processing of trauma-related stimuli in PTSD. Although interpersonal traumatization is a form of traumatization that often occurs, it has not yet been sufficiently studied. That is why, in our study, we focused on patients suffering from interpersonal traumatization. While previous imaging studies on PTSD mainly used faces, words, or generally negative visual stimuli, our study presented complex trauma-related and neutral visual scenes. We examined 19 female subjects suffering from PTSD and examined 19 healthy women as a control group. All subjects did a geometric comparison task while lying in a functional-magnetic-resonance-imaging (fMRI) scanner. Trauma-related scenes and neutral visual scenes that were not relevant to the task were presented while the subjects were doing the task. Regarding the behavioral level, there were not any significant differences between the task performance of the two groups. Regarding the neural level, the PTSD patients showed significant hyperactivation of the hippocampus for task-irrelevant trauma-related stimuli versus neutral stimuli when compared with healthy control subjects. Connectivity analyses revealed altered connectivity between the hippocampus and other anxiety-related areas in PTSD patients, too. Overall, those findings suggest that fear-related areas are involved in PTSD patients' processing of trauma-related stimuli even if the stimuli that were used in the study were task-irrelevant.

Keywords: post-traumatic stress disorder, automatic processing, hippocampus, functional magnetic resonance imaging

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35 Association of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with Work Performance amongst Emergency Medical Service Personnel, Karachi, Pakistan

Authors: Salima Kerai, Muhammad Islam, Uzma Khan, Nargis Asad, Junaid Razzak, Omrana Pasha


Background: Pre-hospital care providers are exposed to various kinds of stressors. Their daily exposure to diverse critical and traumatic incidents can lead to stress reactions like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Consequences of PTSD in terms of work loss can be catastrophic because of its compound effect on families, which affect them economically, socially and emotionally. Therefore, it is critical to assess the association between PTSD and Work performance in Emergency Medical Service (EMS) if exist any. Methods: This prospective observational study was carried out at AMAN EMS in Karachi, Pakistan. EMS personnel were screened for potential PTSD using impact of event scale-revised (IES-R). Work performance was assessed on basis of five variables; number of late arrivals to work, number of days absent, number of days sick, adherence to protocol and patient satisfaction survey over the period of 3 months. In order to model outcomes like number of late arrivals to work, days absent and days late; negative binomial regression was used whereas logistic regression was applied for adherence to protocol and linear for patient satisfaction scores. Results: Out of 536 EMS personnel, 525 were found to be eligible, of them 518 consented. However data on 507 were included because 7 left the job during study period. The mean score of PTSD was found to be 24.0 ± 12.2. However, weak and insignificant association was found between PTSD and work performance measures: number of late arrivals (RRadj 0.99; 95% CI 0.98-1.00), days absent (RRadj 0.98; 95% CI 0.96-0.99), days sick (Rradj 0.99; 95% CI 0.98 to 1.00), adherence to protocol (ORadj 1.01: 95% CI 0.99 to 1.04) and patient satisfaction (0.001% score; 95% CI -0.03% to 0.03%). Conclusion: No association was found between PTSD and Work performance in the selected EMS population in Karachi Pakistan. Further studies are needed to explore the phenomenon of resiliency in these populations. Moreover, qualitative work is required to explore perceptions and feelings like willingness to go to work, readiness to carry out job responsibilities.

Keywords: trauma, emergency medical service, stress, pakistan

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34 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Exhibited by Secondary School Students Exposed to Conflict in Kano Metropolis: Efficacy of a Brief Intervention

Authors: Valentine Ayo Mebu


The study examined the efficacy of a brief intervention programme in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms exhibited by secondary school students exposed to conflict in Kano metropolis. The study tested three hypotheses that there is no significant difference between post-test re-experiencing, hyper-arousal, and avoidance mean scores of students exposed to the intervention and those who were not exposed to the intervention. The design of the study was an experimental design, specifically the pre-test and post-test control group design. The purposive sampling technique was used to select 60 research participants (male=30, female=30, Mean Age=15.50) for the study. These participants met the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria of PTSD symptoms and were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups, respectively. Instrument for data collection was the University of California Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index (UCLA PTSD Index). Findings from the study indicated that there was a significant effect of the intervention on post re-experiencing symptoms scores [ F (1, 57) = 85.97, p=.00, partial eta squared η²=.60], hyper-arousal symptoms scores[ F (1, 57) = 27.81, p=.00, partial eta squared η² =.33], and avoidance symptoms scores [ F (1, 57) = 59.56, p=.00, partial eta squared η² =.51]. The efficacy of this brief psycho-educational intervention as an effective treatment in reducing PTSD symptoms among secondary school students exposed to conflict is supported by the results of this study and this will also add to the existing literature on the effectiveness of psycho-educational intervention in treating PTSD symptoms among students exposed to conflict.

Keywords: avoidance symptoms, hyper-arousal symptoms, re-experiencing symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder, psycho-education

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33 Effect of Sanitary-Environmental Conditions of Diabetic Hypertension Incidence of Displaced Persons

Authors: Radmila Maksimovic, Sonja Ketin, Rade Biocanin, Jelena Maksimovic


The abnormal conditions of life and work genetic factors often play a major role in incidence of diabetes-diabetes, heart disease and vascular disease, jaundice, and post traumatic stress. Trauma and post traumatic stress are most common in the displaced persons,and the focus of this paper is to shed light on this issue in former Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia and now in our country. This is caused by increased beta-cell sensitivity to viruses, the development of autoimmune antibodies against its own pancreascells, degenerative changes in cells that r esult in change of structure and insulin. In this paper, we dealt with traumatic events and long-term psycho social consequences for internally displaced persons, several years after displacement, and found a high level of PTSD symptoms. This stress is present in almost 1/3 of internally displaced persons, and every sixth person is suffering from PTSD in the past. Respondents generally suffer from symptoms of intrusion, but there was a large number of symptoms, avoidance and increased arousal. We also found that gender, age andeducation related to the symptoms. Females, and older respondents and internally displaced persons with lower levels of education how a higher level of PTSD symptoms, especially symptoms of intrusion and increase darousal. It is a highly traumatized sample in which more than 1/2 of respondents experienced more than three traumatic events in life,although the number of traumas experienced before, during and after the conflict varies.We found that during the war, internally displaced persons haveexperienced more traumatic events compared with the periodbefore and after the conflict. Trauma are different in type. No significant correlation between the number of experienced trauma and PTSD, suggesting that it is necessary to further study the structure of past traumas and the intermediary effects of certain risk factors and protective factors.

Keywords: living environment, displaced persons, jaundice, diabetes, trauma, diabetic hypertension, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), treatment

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32 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Associated Factors among Patients with Prostate Cancer

Authors: Meral Huri, Sedef Şahin


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by psychiatric symptoms and triggered by a terrifying experience which may immediately effect cognitive, affective, behavioral and social skills of the individual. One of the most common noncutaneous cancer among men is prostate cancer. The incidence of psychological stress is quite common in men with prostate cancer. The aim of the study was to explore the PTSD frequency among prostate cancer and define the relationship between occupational participation, coping skills and level of perceived social support among patients with prostate cancer. Forty patients diagnosed with prostate cancer were included in the study. After dividing the patients into two groups ( study/ control) according to type of tumor, we recorded their characteristics and evaluations differences. We evaluated the demographic information form, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID- I)- Clinical Version for PTSD, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Styles of Coping Inventory and Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) before and after 1 month from surgery. The mean age of the study group (n:18) was 65.85.6 years (range: 61-79 years). The mean age of the control group (n: 22) was a little bit higher than the study group with mean age 71.3±6.9 years (range: 60-85 years). There was no statistically significant difference between the groups for age and the other characteristics. According to the results of the study, statistically significant difference was found between the level of PTSD of study and the control group. 22% of study group showed PTSD while 13% of the control group showed PTSD (r: 0.02, p<0.001). The scores of study group and control group showed statistically significant difference in five sub-categories of Styles of Coping Inventory. Patients with prostate cancer showed decreased scores in optimistic, seeking social supports and self-confident approach, while increased scores in helpless and submissive sub-categories than the control group (p<0.001). The scores of Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Supports of study group and control group showed statistically significant difference. The total perceived social supports score of the study group was 71.34 ± 0.75 while it was 75.34 ± 0.64 for the control group. Total and the sub-category scores of study group were statistically significant lower than the control group. According to COPM, mean scores of occupational participation of study group for occupational performance were 4.32±2.24 and 7.01±1.52 for the control group, respectively). Mean Satisfaction scores were 3,22±2.31 and 7.45±1.74 for the study and control group, respectively. The patients with prostate cancer and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) did not show any statistically difference in activity performance (r:0.87) while patients with prostate cancer showed statistically lower scores than the patients with BPH in activity satisfaction (r:0.02, p<0.001).Psycho-social occupational therapy interventions might help to decrease the prevalence of PTSD by increasing associated factors such as the social support perception, using coping skills and activity participation of patients with prostate cancer.

Keywords: activity performance, occupational therapy, posttraumatic stress disorder, prostate cancer

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31 Arousal, Encoding, And Intrusive Memories

Authors: Hannah Gutmann, Rick Richardson, Richard Bryant


Intrusive memories following a traumatic event are not uncommon. However, in some individuals, these memories become maladaptive and lead to prolonged stress reactions. A seminal model of PTSD explains that aberrant processing during trauma may lead to prolonged stress reactions and intrusive memories. This model explains that elevated arousal at the time of the trauma promotes data driven processing, leading to fragmented and intrusive memories. This study investigated the role of elevated arousal on the development of intrusive memories. We measured salivary markers of arousal and investigated what impact this had on data driven processing, memory fragmentation, and subsequently, the development of intrusive memories. We assessed 100 healthy participants to understand their processing style, arousal, and experience of intrusive memories. Participants were randomised to a control or experimental condition, the latter of which was designed to increase their arousal. Based on current theory, participants in the experimental condition were expected to engage in more data driven processing and experience more intrusive memories than participants in the control condition. This research aims to shed light on the mechanisms underlying the development of intrusive memories to illustrate ways in which therapeutic approaches for PTSD may be augmented for greater efficacy.

Keywords: stress, cortisol, SAA, PTSD, intrusive memories

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30 For Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Counselors in China, the United States, and around the Globe, Cultural Beliefs Offer Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Anne Giles


Trauma is generally defined as an experience, or multiple experiences, overwhelming a person's ability to cope. Over time, many people recover from the neurobiological, physical, and emotional effects of trauma on their own. For some people, however, troubling symptoms develop over time that can result in distress and disability. This cluster of symptoms is classified as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). People who meet the criteria for PTSD and other trauma-related disorder diagnoses often hold a set of understandable but unfounded beliefs about traumatic events that cause undue suffering. Becoming aware of unhelpful beliefs—termed "cognitive distortions"—and challenging them is the realm of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). A form of CBT found by researchers to be especially effective for PTSD is Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Through the compassionate use of CPT, people identify, examine, challenge, and relinquish unhelpful beliefs, thereby reducing symptoms and suffering. Widely-held cultural beliefs can interfere with the progress of recovery from trauma-related disorders. Although highly revered, largely unquestioned, and often stabilizing, cultural beliefs can be founded in simplistic, dichotomous thinking, i.e., things are all right, or all wrong, all good, or all bad. The reality, however, is nuanced and complex. After studying examples of cultural beliefs from China and the United States and how these might interfere with trauma recovery, trauma counselors can help clients derive criteria for preserving helpful beliefs, discover, examine, and jettison unhelpful beliefs, reduce trauma symptoms, and live their lives more freely and fully.

Keywords: cognitive processing therapy (CPT), cultural beliefs, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma recovery

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29 The Effect of Incorporating Animal Assisted Interventions with Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Authors: Kayla Renteria


This study explored the role animal-assisted psychotherapy (AAP) can play in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when incorporated into Trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT). A review of the literature was performed to show how incorporating AAP could benefit TF-CBT since this treatment model often presents difficulties, such as client motivation and avoidance of the exposure element of the intervention. In addition, the fluidity of treatment goals during complex trauma cases was explored, as this issue arose in the case study. This study follows the course of treatment of a 12-year-old female presenting with symptoms of PTSD. Treatment consisted of traditional components of the TF-CBT model, with the added elements of AAP to address typical treatment obstacles in TF-CBT. A registered therapy dog worked with the subject in all sessions throughout her treatment. The therapy dog was incorporated into components such as relaxation and coping techniques, narrative therapy techniques, and psychoeducation on the cognitive triangle. Throughout the study, the client’s situation and clinical needs required the therapist to switch goals to focus on current safety and stability. The therapy dog provided support and neurophysiological benefits to the client through AAP during this shift in treatment. The client was assessed quantitatively using the Child PTSD Symptom Scale Self Report for DSM-5 (CPSS-SR-5) before and after therapy and qualitatively through a feedback form given after treatment. The participant showed improvement in CPSS-SR-V scores, and she reported that the incorporation of the therapy animal improved her therapy. The results of this study show how the use of AAP provided the client a solid, consistent relationship with the therapy dog that supported her through processing various types of traumas. Implications of the results of treatment and for future research are discussed.

Keywords: animal-assisted therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, PTSD in children, trauma treatment

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28 Trauma after Childbirth: The Mediating Effects of Subjective Experience

Authors: Grace Baptie, Jackie Andrade, Alison Bacon, Alyson Norman


Background: Many women experience their childbirth as traumatic, and 4-6% of mothers present with postnatal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their birth. Aims: To measure the relationship between obstetric and subjective experience of childbirth on mothers’ experience of postnatal trauma and identify salient aspects of the birth experience considered traumatic. Methods: Women who had given birth within the last year completed an online mixed-methods survey reporting on their subjective and obstetric birth experience as well as symptoms of postnatal trauma, depression and anxiety. Findings: 29% of mothers experienced their labour as traumatic and 15% met full or partial criteria for PTSD. Feeling supported and in control mediated the relationship between obstetric intervention and postnatal trauma symptoms. Five key themes were identified from the qualitative data regarding aspects of the birth considered traumatic including: obstetric complications; lack of control; concern for baby; psychological trauma and lack of support. Conclusion: Subjective birth experience is a significantly stronger predictor of postnatal trauma than level of medical intervention, the psychological consequences of which can be buffered by an increased level of support and control.

Keywords: birth trauma, perinatal mental health, postnatal PTSD, subjective experience

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27 Flow as a Positive Intervention for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Authors: Sonal Khosla


A research is proposed in the present paper to explore the role of flow in coping with traumatic experiences and attaining post-traumatic growth. A grounded theory research is proposed to be carried by analyzing memoirs of people who have been through trauma. A pilot study was carried out on two memoirs of women who were held captive for over ten years and were sexually assaulted repeatedly. The role of flow in their coping experiences was explored by analyzing the books. Some of the flow activities that were used by them were- drawing and daydreaming. Their narratives show the evidence for flow as having cathartic and healing effects on them. Applicability of the findings can take two forms: 1. Flow can be applied as a preventive technique to help the people who are going through trauma, 2. Flow can be adopted into a positive intervention to help people suffering from PTSD.

Keywords: flow, positive intervention, PTSD, PTG

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26 How to Talk about It without Talking about It: Cognitive Processing Therapy Offers Trauma Symptom Relief without Violating Cultural Norms

Authors: Anne Giles


Humans naturally wish they could forget traumatic experiences. To help prevent future harm, however, the human brain has evolved to retain data about experiences of threat, alarm, or violation. When given compassionate support and assistance with thinking helpfully and realistically about traumatic events, most people can adjust to experiencing hardships, albeit with residual sad, unfortunate memories. Persistent, recurrent, intrusive memories, difficulty sleeping, emotion dysregulation, and avoidance of reminders, however, may be symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Brain scans show that PTSD affects brain functioning. We currently have no physical means of restoring the system of brain structures and functions involved with PTSD. Medications may ease some symptoms but not others. However, forms of "talk therapy" with cognitive components have been found by researchers to reduce, even resolve, a broad spectrum of trauma symptoms. Many cultures have taboos against talking about hardships. Individuals may present themselves to mental health care professionals with severe, disabling trauma symptoms but, because of cultural norms, be unable to speak about them. In China, for example, relationship expectations may include the belief, "Bad things happening in the family should stay in the family (jiāchǒu bùkě wàiyán 家丑不可外扬)." The concept of "family (jiā 家)" may include partnerships, close and extended families, communities, companies, and the nation itself. In contrast to many trauma therapies, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder asks its participants to focus not on "what" happened but on "why" they think the trauma(s) occurred. The question "why" activates and exercises cognitive functioning. Brain scans of individuals with PTSD reveal executive functioning portions of the brain inadequately active, with emotion centers overly active. CPT conceptualizes PTSD as a network of cognitive distortions that keep an individual "stuck" in this under-functioning and over-functioning dynamic. Through asking participants forms of the question "why," plus offering a protocol for examining answers and relinquishing unhelpful beliefs, CPT assists individuals in consciously reactivating the cognitive, executive functions of their brains, thus restoring normal functioning and reducing distressing trauma symptoms. The culturally sensitive components of CPT that allow people to "talk about it without talking about it" may offer the possibility for worldwide relief from symptoms of trauma.

Keywords: cognitive processing therapy (CPT), cultural norms, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma recovery

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25 Patients in Opioid Maintenance Programs: Psychological Features that Predict Abstinence

Authors: Janaina Pereira, Barbara Gonzalez, Valentina Chitas, Teresa Molina


Intro: The positive impact of opioid maintenance programs on the health of heroin addicts, and on public health in general, has been widely recognized, namely on the prevalence reduction of infectious diseases as HIV, and on the social reintegration of this population. Nevertheless, a part of patients in these programs cannot remain heroin abstinent, or has relapses, during the treatment. Method: Thus, this cross-sectional research aims at analyzing the relation between a set of psychological and psychosocial variables, which have been associated with the onset of heroin use, and assess if they are also associated with absence of abstinence in participants in an opioid maintenance program. A total of 62 patients, aged between 26 and 58 years old (M= 40.87, DP= 7.39) with a time in opioid maintenance program between 1 and 10 years (M= 5.42, DP= 3.05), 77.4% male and 22.6% female, participated in this research. To assess the criterion variable (heroin use) we used the mean value of positive results in urine tests during the participation in the program, weighted according to the number of months in program. The predictor variables were the coping strategies, the dispositional sensation seeking, and the existence of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Results: The results showed that only 33.87% of the patients were totally abstinent of heroin use since the beginning of the program, and the absence of abstinence, as the number of positive heroin tests, was primarily predicted by less proactive coping, and secondarily by a higher level of sensation seeking. 16.13% of the sample fulfilled diagnosis criteria for PTSD, and 67.74 % had at least one traumatic experience throughout their lives. The total of PTSD symptoms had a positive correlation with the number of physical health problems, and with the lack of professional occupation. These results have several implications for the clinical practice in this field, and we suggest the promotion of proactive coping strategies should integrate these opioid maintenance programs, as they represent the tendency to face future events as challenges and opportunities, being positively related to positive results on several fields. The early identification of PTSD in the participants, before entering the opioid maintenance programs, would be important as it is related to negative features that hinder social reintegration, Finally, to identify individuals with a sensation seeking profile would be relevant, not only because they face a higher risk of relapse, but also because the therapeutical approaches should not ignore this dispositional feature in the alternatives they propose to the patients.

Keywords: opioid maintenance programs, proactive coping, PTSD, sensation seeking

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24 Trajectories of PTSD from 2-3 Years to 5-6 Years among Asian Americans after the World Trade Center Attack

Authors: Winnie Kung, Xinhua Liu, Debbie Huang, Patricia Kim, Keon Kim, Xiaoran Wang, Lawrence Yang


Considerable Asian Americans were exposed to the World Trade Center attack due to the proximity of the site to Chinatown and a sizeable number of South Asians working in the collapsed and damaged buildings nearby. Few studies focused on Asians in examining the disaster’s mental health impact, and even less longitudinal studies were reported beyond the first couple of years after the event. Based on the World Trade Center Health Registry, this study examined the trajectory of PTSD of individuals directly exposed to the attack from 2-3 to 5-6 years after the attack, comparing Asians against the non-Hispanic White group. Participants included 2,431 Asians and 31,455 Whites. Trajectories were delineated into the resilient, chronic, delayed-onset and remitted groups using PTSD checklist cut-off score at 44 at the 2 waves. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to compare the poorer trajectories against the resilient as a reference group, using predictors of baseline sociodemographic, exposure to the disaster, lower respiratory symptoms and previous depression/anxiety disorder diagnosis, and recruitment source as the control variable. Asians had significant lower socioeconomic status in terms of income, education and employment status compared to Whites. Over 3/4 of participants from both races were resilient, though slightly less for Asians than Whites (76.5% vs 79.8%). Asians had a higher proportion with chronic PTSD (8.6% vs 7.4%) and remission (5.9% vs 3.4%) than Whites. A considerable proportion of participants had delayed-onset in both races (9.1% Asians vs 9.4% Whites). The distribution of trajectories differed significantly by race (p<0.0001) with Asians faring poorer. For Asians, in the chronic vs resilient group, significant protective factors included age >65, annual household income >$50,000, and never married vs married/cohabiting; risk factors were direct disaster exposure, job loss due to 9/11, lost someone, and tangible loss; lower respiratory symptoms and previous mental disorder diagnoses. Similar protective and risk factors were noted for the delayed-onset group, except education being protective; and being an immigrant a risk. Between the 2 comparisons, the chronic group was more vulnerable than the delayed-onset as expected. It should also be noted that in both comparisons, Asians’ current employment status had no significant impact on their PTSD trajectory. Comparing between Asians against Whites, the direction of the relationships between the predictors and the PTSD trajectories were mostly the same, although more factors were significant for Whites than for Asians. A few factors showed significant racial difference: Higher risk for lower respiratory symptoms for Whites than Asians, higher risk for pre-9/11 mental disorder diagnosis for Asians than Whites, and immigrant a risk factor for the remitted vs resilient groups for Whites but not for Asians. Over 17% Asians still suffered from PTSD 5-6 years after the WTC attack signified its persistent impact which incurred substantial human, social and economic costs. The more disadvantaged socioeconomic status of Asians rendered them more vulnerable in their mental health trajectories relative to Whites. Together with their well-documented low tendency to seek mental health help, outreach effort to this population is needed to ensure follow-up treatment and prevention.

Keywords: PTSD, Asian Americans, World Trade Center Attack, racial differences

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23 Understanding Help Seeking among Black Women with Clinically Significant Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms

Authors: Glenda Wrenn, Juliet Muzere, Meldra Hall, Allyson Belton, Kisha Holden, Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Martha Kent, Bekh Bradley


Understanding the help seeking decision making process and experiences of health disparity populations with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is central to development of trauma-informed, culturally centered, and patient focused services. Yet, little is known about the decision making process among adult Black women who are non-treatment seekers as they are, by definition, not engaged in services. Methods: Audiotaped interviews were conducted with 30 African American adult women with clinically significant PTSD symptoms who were engaged in primary care, but not in treatment for PTSD despite symptom burden. A qualitative interview guide was used to elucidate key themes. Independent coding of themes mapped to theory and identification of emergent themes were conducted using qualitative methods. An existing quantitative dataset was analyzed to contextualize responses and provide a descriptive summary of the sample. Results: Emergent themes revealed that active mental avoidance, the intermittent nature of distress, ambivalence, and self-identified resilience as undermining to help seeking decisions. Participants were stuck within the help-seeking phase of ‘recognition’ of illness and retained a sense of “it is my decision” despite endorsing significant social and environmental negative influencers. Participants distinguished ‘help acceptance’ from ‘help seeking’ with greater willingness to accept help and importance placed on being of help to others. Conclusions: Elucidation of the decision-making process from the perspective of non-treatment seekers has implications for outreach and treatment within models of integrated and specialty systems care. The salience of responses to trauma symptoms and stagnation in the help seeking recognition phase are findings relevant to integrated care service design and community engagement.

Keywords: culture, help-seeking, integrated care, PTSD

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22 Mood Symptom Severity in Service Members with Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms after Service Dog Training

Authors: Tiffany Riggleman, Andrea Schultheis, Kalyn Jannace, Jerika Taylor, Michelle Nordstrom, Paul F. Pasquina


Introduction: Posttraumatic Stress (PTS) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) remain significant problems for military and veteran communities. Symptoms of PTSD often include poor sleep, intrusive thoughts, difficulty concentrating, and trouble with emotional regulation. Unfortunately, despite its high prevalence, service members diagnosed with PTSD often do not seek help, usually because of the perceived stigma surrounding behavioral health care. To help address these challenges, non-pharmacological, therapeutic approaches are being developed to help improve care and enhance compliance. The Service Dog Training Program (SDTP), which involves teaching patients how to train puppies to become mobility service dogs, has been successfully implemented into PTS/PTSD care programs with anecdotal reports of improved outcomes. This study was designed to assess the biopsychosocial effects of SDTP from military beneficiaries with PTS symptoms. Methods: Individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 with PTS symptom were recruited to participate in this prospective study. Each subject completes 4 weeks of baseline testing, followed by 6 weeks of active service dog training (twice per week for one hour sessions) with a professional service dog trainer. Outcome measures included the Posttraumatic Stress Checklist for the DSM-5 (PCL-5), Generalized Anxiety Disorder questionnaire-7 (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), social support/interaction, anthropometrics, blood/serum biomarkers, and qualitative interviews. Preliminary analysis of 17 participants examined mean scores on the GAD-7, PCL-5, and PHQ-9, pre- and post-SDTP, and changes were assessed using Wilcoxon Signed-Rank tests. Results: Post-SDTP, there was a statistically significant mean decrease in PCL-5 scores of 13.5 on an 80-point scale (p=0.03) and a significant mean decrease of 2.2 in PHQ-9 scores on a 27 point scale (p=0.04), suggestive of decreased PTSD and depression symptoms. While there was a decrease in mean GAD-7 scores post-SDTP, the difference was not significant (p=0.20). Recurring themes among results from the qualitative interviews include decreased pain, forgetting about stressors, improved sense of calm, increased confidence, improved communication, and establishing a connection with the service dog. Conclusion: Preliminary results of the first 17 participants in this study suggest that individuals who received SDTP had a statistically significant decrease in PTS symptom, as measured by the PCL-5 and PHQ-9. This ongoing study seeks to enroll a total of 156 military beneficiaries with PTS symptoms. Future analyses will include additional psychological outcomes, pain scores, blood/serum biomarkers, and other measures of the social aspects of PTSD, such as relationship satisfaction and sleep hygiene.

Keywords: post-concussive syndrome, posttraumatic stress, service dog, service dog training program, traumatic brain injury

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21 Development and Evaluation of an Internet-Based Transdiagnostic Therapy Intervention in the Arab World

Authors: Mariam Fishere


The proposed research study aims at developing an Internet-based transdiagnostic treatment and evaluating its efficacy. Based on the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA), a combined low-intensity and technology supported transdiagnostic treatment protocol will be culturally adapted for usage by nonprofessional therapists in Arabic-speaking countries. This Internet-based CETA intervention will target individuals suffering from one or more of the following disorders: depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which are all major contributors to the global burden of mental illness. The growing body of research in the area of transdiagnostic treatment has proven to be effective in high-income countries (HICs), but there remain questions about its efficacy, cultural appropriateness, and validity for low- to middle-income countries (LMICs). The aim of this dissertation project is to investigate the efficacy of a newly developed Internet-delivery of an evidence-based transdiagnostic treatment – CETA – for a sample of Arabic-speaking individuals suffering from at least one of the following disorders; depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Keywords: transdiagnostic, internet-based interventions, mental health, Arab world

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20 Imaginal and in Vivo Exposure Blended with Emdr: Becoming Unstuck, an Integrated Inpatient Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Authors: Merrylord Harb-Azar


Traditionally, PTSD treatment has involved trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (TF CBT) to consolidate traumatic memories. A piloted integrated treatment of TF CBT and eye movement desensitisation reprocessing therapy (EMDR) of eight phases will fasten the rate memory is being consolidated and enhance cognitive functioning in patients with PTSD. Patients spend a considerable amount of time in treatment managing their traumas experienced firsthand, or from aversive details ranging from war, assaults, accidents, abuse, hostage related, riots, or natural disasters. The time spent in treatment or as inpatient affects overall quality of life, relationships, cognitive functioning, and overall sense of identity. EMDR is being offered twice a week in conjunction with the standard prolonged exposure as an inpatient in a private hospital. Prolonged exposure for up to 5 hours per day elicits the affect response required for EMDR sessions in the afternoon to unlock unprocessed memories and facilitate consolidation in the amygdala and hippocampus. Results are indicating faster consolidation of memories, reduction in symptoms in a shorter period of time, reduction in admission time, which is enhancing the quality of life and relationships, and improved cognition. The impact of events scale (IES) results demonstrate a significant reduction in symptoms, trauma symptoms inventory (TSI), and posttraumatic stressor disorder check list (PCL) that demonstrates large effect sizes to date. An integrated treatment approach for PTSD achieves a faster resolution of memories, improves cognition, and reduces the amount of time spent in therapy.

Keywords: EMDR enhances cognitive functioning, faster consolidation of trauma memory, integrated treatment of TF CBT and EMDR, reduction in inpatient admission time

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19 Neuropsychological Aspects in Adolescents Victims of Sexual Violence with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Authors: Fernanda Mary R. G. Da Silva, Adriana C. F. Mozzambani, Marcelo F. Mello


Introduction: Sexual assault against children and adolescents is a public health problem with serious consequences on their quality of life, especially for those who develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The broad literature in this research area points to greater losses in verbal learning, explicit memory, speed of information processing, attention and executive functioning in PTSD. Objective: To compare the neuropsychological functions of adolescents from 14 to 17 years of age, victims of sexual violence with PTSD with those of healthy controls. Methodology: Application of a neuropsychological battery composed of the following subtests: WASI vocabulary and matrix reasoning; Digit subtests (WISC-IV); verbal auditory learning test RAVLT; Spatial Span subtest of the WMS - III scale; abbreviated version of the Wisconsin test; concentrated attention test - D2; prospective memory subtest of the NEUPSILIN scale; five-digit test - FDT and the Stroop test (Trenerry version) in adolescents with a history of sexual violence in the previous six months, referred to the Prove (Violence Care and Research Program of the Federal University of São Paulo), for further treatment. Results: The results showed a deficit in the word coding process in the RAVLT test, with impairment in A3 (p = 0.004) and A4 (p = 0.016) measures, which compromises the verbal learning process (p = 0.010) and the verbal recognition memory (p = 0.012), seeming to present a worse performance in the acquisition of verbal information that depends on the support of the attentional system. A worse performance was found in list B (p = 0.047), a lower priming effect p = 0.026, that is, lower evocation index of the initial words presented and less perseveration (p = 0.002), repeated words. Therefore, there seems to be a failure in the creation of strategies that help the mnemonic process of retention of the verbal information necessary for learning. Sustained attention was found to be impaired, with greater loss of setting in the Wisconsin test (p = 0.023), a lower rate of correct responses in stage C of the Stroop test (p = 0.023) and, consequently, a higher index of erroneous responses in C of the Stroop test (p = 0.023), besides more type II errors in the D2 test (p = 0.008). A higher incidence of total errors was observed in the reading stage of the FDT test p = 0.002, which suggests fatigue in the execution of the task. Performance is compromised in executive functions in the cognitive flexibility ability, suggesting a higher index of total errors in the alternating step of the FDT test (p = 0.009), as well as a greater number of persevering errors in the Wisconsin test (p = 0.004). Conclusion: The data from this study suggest that sexual violence and PTSD cause significant impairment in the neuropsychological functions of adolescents, evidencing risk to quality of life in stages that are fundamental for the development of learning and cognition.

Keywords: adolescents, neuropsychological functions, PTSD, sexual violence

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18 The Ongoing Impact of Secondary Stressors on Businesses in Northern Ireland Affected by Flood Events

Authors: Jill Stephenson, Marie Vaganay, Robert Cameron, Caoimhe McGurk, Neil Hewitt


Purpose: The key aim of the research was to identify the secondary stressors experienced by businesses affected by single or repeated flooding and to determine to what extent businesses were affected by these stressors, along with any resulting impact on health. Additionally, the research aimed to establish the likelihood of businesses being re-exposed to the secondary stressors through assessing awareness of flood risk, implementation of property protection measures and level of community resilience. Design/methodology/approach: The chosen research method involved the distribution of a questionnaire survey to businesses affected by either single or repeated flood events. The questionnaire included the Impact of Event Scale (a 15-item self-report measure which assesses subjective distress caused by traumatic events). Findings: 55 completed questionnaires were returned by flood impacted businesses. 89% of the businesses had sustained internal flooding while 11% had experienced external flooding. The results established that the key secondary stressors experienced by businesses, in order of priority, were: flood damage, fear of reoccurring flooding, prevention of access to the premise/closure, loss of income, repair works, length of closure and insurance issues. There was a lack of preparedness for potential future floods and consequent vulnerability to the emergence of secondary stressors among flood affected businesses, as flood resistance or flood resilience measures had only been implemented by 11% and 13% respectively. In relation to the psychological repercussions, the Impact of Event scores suggested that potential prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was noted among 8 out of 55 respondents (l5%). Originality/value: The results improve understanding of the enduring repercussions of flood events on businesses, indicating that not only residents may be susceptible to the detrimental health impacts of flood events and single flood events may be just as likely as reoccurring flooding to contribute to ongoing stress. Lack of financial resources is a possible explanation for the lack of implementation of property protection measures among businesses, despite 49% experiencing flooding on multiple occasions. Therefore it is recommended that policymakers should consider potential sources of financial support or grants towards flood defences for flood impacted businesses. Any form of assistance should be made available to businesses at the earliest opportunity as there was no significant association between the time of the last flood event and the likelihood of experiencing PTSD symptoms.

Keywords: flood event, flood resilience, flood resistance, PTSD, secondary stressors

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17 An Application of Quantile Regression to Large-Scale Disaster Research

Authors: Katarzyna Wyka, Dana Sylvan, JoAnn Difede


Background and significance: The following disaster, population-based screening programs are routinely established to assess physical and psychological consequences of exposure. These data sets are highly skewed as only a small percentage of trauma-exposed individuals develop health issues. Commonly used statistical methodology in post-disaster mental health generally involves population-averaged models. Such models aim to capture the overall response to the disaster and its aftermath; however, they may not be sensitive enough to accommodate population heterogeneity in symptomatology, such as post-traumatic stress or depressive symptoms. Methods: We use an archival longitudinal data set from Weill-Cornell 9/11 Mental Health Screening Program established following the World Trade Center (WTC) terrorist attacks in New York in 2001. Participants are rescue and recovery workers who participated in the site cleanup and restoration (n=2960). The main outcome is the post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSD) severity score assessed via clinician interviews (CAPS). For a detailed understanding of response to the disaster and its aftermath, we are adapting quantile regression methodology with particular focus on predictors of extreme distress and resilience to trauma. Results: The response variable was defined as the quantile of the CAPS score for each individual under two different scenarios specifying the unconditional quantiles based on: 1) clinically meaningful CAPS cutoff values and 2) CAPS distribution in the population. We present graphical summaries of the differential effects. For instance, we found that the effect of the WTC exposures, namely seeing bodies and feeling that life was in danger during rescue/recovery work was associated with very high PTSD symptoms. A similar effect was apparent in individuals with prior psychiatric history. Differential effects were also present for age and education level of the individuals. Conclusion: We evaluate the utility of quantile regression in disaster research in contrast to the commonly used population-averaged models. We focused on assessing the distribution of risk factors for post-traumatic stress symptoms across quantiles. This innovative approach provides a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between dependent and independent variables and could be used for developing tailored training programs and response plans for different vulnerability groups.

Keywords: disaster workers, post traumatic stress, PTSD, quantile regression

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