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
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.