PTSD: Choosing Your Own Treatment Yields Better Results

Contributing Editor

A multiyear study involving hundreds of people living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — including military veterans and victims of sexual assault — has found that people who choose their form of treatment, whether drugs or therapy, improved more than those who were prescribed one or the other regardless of their personal preference.

The study, led by the University of Washington and Case Western Reserve University, reviewed outpatient clinics that treated PTSD in Seattle and Cleveland. It found that both a medication (Sertraline, aka Zoloft) and a specific therapy known as prolonged exposure were effective in reducing symptoms during and following the course of treatment.

However, people who received their choice showed an even greater reduction of symptoms, were more inclined to stick with their treatment program, and even eliminated their PTSD diagnosis over time. Researchers say that giving patients the information they need to make an informed choice leads to better outcomes.

Source: American Journal of Psychiatry