Exposure based therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder among individuals with a history of sexual assault

Philippa L. Ewer, Katherine L. Mills, Andrew Baillie

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    Introduction and Aims: Sexual assault (SA) and post-traumatic
    stress disorder (PTSD) are highly prevalent among individuals with
    substance use disorder (SUD). Previous research has demonstrated
    the effectiveness of exposure based therapies for treating individuals
    with a history of SA experienced both in childhood and/or adulthood,
    however, individuals with a SUD have typically been excluded from
    these trials. This paper aims to present an analysis of treatment
    outcomes for individuals who have experienced SA who received an
    integrated SUD + PTSD treatment utilising exposure techniques.
    Design and Methods: Data were collected as part of a randomised
    controlled trial of an exposure based therapy for PTSD and SUD
    called Concurrent Treatment with Prolonged Exposure. The 13
    session intervention consists of psychoeducation, cognitive
    behavioural therapy for SUD and PTSD, imaginal and in-vivo
    exposure. Participants completed interviews at baseline, 6-weeks,
    3- and 9-months follow-up.
    Results: Of the 55 participants randomly allocated into the
    treatment group, 25 had experienced childhood SA and 17 had
    experienced SA in adulthood only. Thirty-seven participants started
    the treatment and a median of 5 sessions were attended. Eight
    participants completed all 13 sessions. Signifi cant reductions in
    PTSD symptom severity were observed. Between-group comparisons
    of end-of-treatment outcomes revealed no signifi cant differences
    between individuals who had experienced SA in childhood versus
    those who had experienced SA in adulthood only.
    Discussion and Conclusions: These fi ndings suggest that
    integrated exposure based therapies for PTSD and SUD may be
    benefi cial for clients with a history of SA.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number260
    Pages (from-to)60-60
    Number of pages1
    JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
    Issue numberSupplement 1
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
    EventAustralasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Conference 2012 - Melbourne, Australia
    Duration: 18 Nov 201221 Nov 2012


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