A large percentage of soldiers are coming home with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) or posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD). For many of these veterans, the two issues are comorbid. Most treatment focuses on either TBI or PTSD; however, because the symptoms tend to overlap, there is a need for an all-encompassing treatment model. The present study looks into the use of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT-C) as the central treatment in a residential program targeting veterans with PTSD-TBI.
42 participants with PTSD and TBI were recruited. Three assessments were taken pre- and post- treatment: the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), PTSD Checklist (PCL), and Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). The seven week treatment protocol included CPT-C group therapy sessions twice a week, individual sessions twice a week, individual speech therapy two to three times a week, and 23 hours of group psychoeducation.
Results showed that despite severity of TBI, scores on all three assessments decreased post-treatment. Patients with moderate/severe TBI improved more on the CAPS and PCL than those with mild TBI. This study shows that severity may be a moderator of PTSD recovery and that a comprehensive residential program of Cognitive Processing Therapy may assist in the treatment of veterans with PTSD and a history of TBI.
Chard, K.M., Schumm, J.A., McIlvain, S.M, Bailey, G.W., & Parkinson, R.B. (2011). Exploring the efficacy of a residential treatment program incorporating cognitive processing therapy-cognitive for veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 24 (3), 347-351.