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Changes in posttraumatic stress disorders symptoms during and after therapeutic community drug and alcohol treatment

Cassandra Perryman (Department of Psychology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia)
Genevieve Dingle (School of Psychology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia)
David Clark (School of Medicine, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities

ISSN: 0964-1866

Article publication date: 12 December 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the changes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology during treatment in a drug and alcohol therapeutic community.

Design/methodology/approach

A repeated measures design was employed that looked at PTSD, depression, anxiety, and stress at a pre- and post-timepoint. A second sample was then evaluated at time of program completion to seven months post-treatment.

Findings

PTSD symptomatology significantly decreased in individuals who had undertaken treatment, and continued to decline post-treatment. This finding was irrespective of any PTSD-specific treatment.

Research limitations/implications

PTSD specific treatment is not necessary to lower the symptomatology. Furthermore, this provides evidence that PTSD and substance use disorders are so highly intertwined that the comorbidity can almost be considered a single, diagnosis.

Originality/value

This is a partial replication of previous research which had not previously been replicated. This research also adds to the limited research which looks at PTSD from the perspective of drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the participants and staff who were involved in the study, and to Dr Sakinah Alhadad, Belinda Lipscombe, and Diana da costa Neves for assistance with the data collection. The study was partly funded by a grant from Lives Lived Well and a UQ Early Career Researcher grant to Dr Dingle.

Citation

Perryman, C., Dingle, G. and Clark, D. (2016), "Changes in posttraumatic stress disorders symptoms during and after therapeutic community drug and alcohol treatment", Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 170-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/TC-06-2016-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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