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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Arizona Study Looks at the Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Social Rhythm Group Therapy for Veterans with PTSD and Sleep Disturbance

Data from a University of Arizona pilot study suggests that Cognitive Behavioral Social Rhythm Therapy (CBSRT) may be an effective group treatment option for Veterans presenting with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and sleep disturbances.

Patricia Haynes
[Photo: Dr. Patricia L. Haynes]

The study by lead author Dr. Patricia L. Haynes, associate professor of health promotion sciences at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and colleagues, was published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

The researchers followed a 12-week CBSRT therapy group designed to improve sleep and mood by reducing chaotic or isolated lifestyles in Veterans with PTSD. Twenty-four male Veterans with at least moderate PTSD and MDD participated in this open trial. Main outcomes were the daily sleep diary for sleep disturbances, the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) for PTSD, and the Hamilton Depression Rating scale for MDD.

Veterans improved on all measures with large within subject effects on PTSD symptoms, MDD symptoms, and sleep quality; and with 46–58 percent of the sample receiving clinically significant benefits on MDD and PTSD symptoms respectively. The consistency of social rhythms was associated with the average reduction in global CAPS scores over time. Only 13 percent of participants dropped-out of the group therapy prematurely suggesting that this new group therapy is relatively well-tolerated by Veterans.

Dr. Haynes said data from this pilot study also suggest that daily routine may be an important mechanism to consider in the treatment of PTSD symptoms with depression.

Cognitive Behavioral Social Rhythm Group Therapy for Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and sleep disturbance: Results from an open trial“, published in the March edition of Journal of Affective Disorders.