Convergence: Connecting Levels of Analysis in Psychological Science
 In the past, our field harbored distinct, and often competing, schools of thought that tackled different problems and produced findings that often appeared to diverge. Today, investigators attack shared problems at complementary levels of analysis and produce results that converge. Studies of people in a social world; mental systems of cognition and emotion; and biological mechanisms of the genome and the nervous system interconnect and yield an integrated psychological science. The APS 23rd Annual Convention displays, and celebrates, these advances in our field.

Disaster, Response, and Recovery

Disseminating Evidence-Based Treatments (EBTs) for PTSD Within Systems and Across Countries: Can Current Treatments Be Applied to Mass Traumas?

Friday, May 25, 2012, 12:05 PM - 12:45 PM
Sheraton Ballroom IV

Edna B. Foa

Edna B. Foa
University of Pennsylvania

The recent frequent natural disasters and wars around the world have resulted in a dramatic increase in PTSD sufferers that, in turn, underscores the urgent need for a large-scale effort to disseminate evidence-based treatment to mental-health professionals. In this lecture, I will discuss factors that hinder successful dissemination of evidence-based treatments and how to overcome them. I will then describe the development and implementation of methods to disseminate prolonged exposure (PE) therapy, a short-term CBT treatment for PTSD that has received wide empirical support for its efficacy in the United States and abroad. Data will be presented to show that community therapists can achieve outcomes as good as those obtained by therapists who are experts in delivering exposure therapy in academic settings. However, the cost and effort involved in disseminating PE (and other current EBTs for PTSD), as well as the method of conducting the treatments, render them unsuitable for the needs of PTSD sufferers during and after mass traumas such as natural disasters. The challenge that we now face is developing effective and efficient interventions as well as new methods of dissemination that will render them readily accessible to large numbers of PTSD suffers. In this context, the unique challenge of addressing the short- and long-term needs of victims of mass traumas will also be discussed.

Read the APS Daily Observation on Edna Foa.

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Subject Area: Disaster, Response, and Recovery

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