The Effectiveness of PTSD Treatment on Symptoms of PTSD and Depression in Military Veterans

Introduction

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a prevalent illness especially among veterans who have experienced psychological trauma during the war. The number of soldiers who are affected by the condition is very high, and communities and individuals from different social groups state about the need to institute proper structures that are aimed at developing the best treatment methods for the soldiers, as well as providing them with the needed rehabilitation services. Moreover, PTSD is a relevant issue since it not only affects the veterans but also people who have experienced traumatic or abusive events in their lives. The research project by Kylene Occhietti aims at assessing PTSD and understanding the scale of the problem in the society. The project also seeks to assess different treatment methods and their effectiveness in curbing the illness among veteran soldiers. The research was conducted based on data collected on 124 veterans in VA residential PTSD program in 2006-2009. According to the author of the article, the data “was used to determine the effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), and Eye Movement Desensitizing and Processing Therapy (EMDR) on PTSD.” (Occhietti, 2012) Group Therapy was also used, and, based on the research, it was concluded that the decrease in symptoms was observed among the patients regarding all the methods that were applied. However, there still is room for further research on the same. The research was conducted by examining the sample and testing it with statistical methods to assess and interpret the results that had been collected.

The research problem of the article is how effective are the different methods of PTSD treatment and their impact on the health of the patients.

The author uses evidence collected from the treatment methods and models that have been conducted in 2006–2009. The author uses the information from the past treatment and initial conditions of patients to create the most appropriate models and assess the best treatment methods.

Author’s initial objectives:

  • To assess the different treatment methods that are used to treat patients-veterans;
  • To assess the treatment methods that are applied to PTSD among patients in the society;
  • To assess the most effective treatment method for PTSD that has demonstrated the best results from different approaches adopted by the veterans program.

Evaluating the Research Methods

In the article, the author provides a literature review that highlights various aspects of PTSD to ensure that the reader understands the problem statement and the importance of the research. The literature review has been split into different parts depending on the importance of each aspect for the study (Wilson et al., 2012). This section of the research is expansive and highlights all the aspects of treatment methods and their applicability within the VA in the past. It has been used to create a background or a basis for argument on the importance of the research through highlighting different aspects of treatment in the past (Occhietti, 2012). However, the literature review does not provide a comparison between the success of these approaches in the past, thereby instilling the importance of understanding their effectiveness in the present. Moreover, there is a massive gap that exists between what had been done in the past and the present regarding the outcomes of different treatment methods, a factor that should be analyzed. According to the literature review, the problem has been prevalent since the 19th century, and although the treatment methods have revolutionized, it is important to understand the effectiveness of the previous methods used. However, the literature review has laid out the information that is crucial in understanding the research problem and the treatment methods that have been highlighted in the research. An analysis of the past discrepancies also offers the reader with an informed model that is aimed at understanding the approaches that can be instituted to do proper research on the same.

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The study of the different treatment methods and their effectiveness is current since it was conducted in the recent past. Moreover, the number of war veterans and people in the society who are exposed to traumatic events is very high (Wilson et al., 2012). There are many individuals who are exposed to these problems, and with the United States’ continued presence in the Arab countries, PTSD cases will only increase. The research is critical in identifying the best methods that can be used in treating different cases of PTSD in the society. The author suggests different methods that have been found to decrease the effects of PTSD on the patients (Foa et al., 2008). However, it is important to focus on a single treatment method that has lasting and the most efficient results. Although all these methods have been tested and identified to have lasting effects, a single approach applicable to all patients needs to be determined. The research conducted by the author to understand the effectiveness of these methods is proper, but a more concrete model needs to be applied when comparing between the methods and ascertaining their relevance against each other. The research project is, however, relevant and current to today’s existing health issue.

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The researcher used a quasi-experimental design since although there were control groups or experiments that were done, the sample was not randomized. Apart from a single individual who did not partake in the research, the rest of the 124 people selected and undergoing treatment for PTSD were all used (Occhietti, 2012). The process was controlled by the researcher in terms of the selection of methods as well as people chosen in conducting the tests. The criterion that was applied in the research was taking patients who have already showed signs of PTSD within the society (Wilson et al., 2012). The research design was, therefore, controlled to ensure that the results that were collected were targeted on a specific population.

The sample was collected from veterans of war consisting of both male and female soldiers who had completed active military service. The sample size consisted of 124 persons who showed signs of PTSD and required treatment to alleviate the symptoms (Occhietti, 2012). A non-probability sample was developed to get precise results for the research project. Since the paper aimed at assessing the effectiveness of the treatment methods that were being used, the sample size and samples collected were proper. It was not biased since depending on the research; the researcher needed patients with PTSD with the military past who had signs of PTSD.

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It has to be stated that the research is very practical since it lists some of the most efficient methods that have been utilized in the treatment of PTSD. In addition, group therapy is one of the methods that has been highlighted to demonstrate the highest rates of success in decreasing the effects of PTSD among patients. The research is also relevant to the problems that are being experienced by PTSD patients since it be used not only in VA facilities. It is, therefore, critical to look for methods of applying some of these approaches in other facilities that treat similar conditions. The research can also be replicated and used in determining the applicability of the same methods in treating other conditions that affect cognitive aspects of an individual, for example, psychosis.

One of the areas that could be improved in the research is using randomized data and sample instead of the non-probable data (Occhietti, 2012). It would ensure the applicability of the information and results that would be applied in treating similar conditions. Taking the individuals that were already under treatment meant that the population size was limited only to patients undergoing treatment but not a generalized population (Foa et al., 2008). The tests and treatment groups did not have equal subsample sizes, meaning that an individual would not allocate a single method to have the best results. It is important that all the subsamples used in the test be equal, therefore, enhancing the development criteria that were utilized in the research.

Thus, the author of the article has highlighted all the treatment methods that were tested as well as their results. The article is clear and straightforward since all the aspects have been addressed and the explanation given to the different aspects that are critical to the research. The approach that has been used in writing the article makes it easy to read and understand the author’s perspective thereby ensuring proper understanding of the research. Thus, it can be stated that the article under analysis is straightforward and has all integral parts properly addressed to help in understanding the research and in the case of any replication of the same research.

The research on the effectiveness of the treatment methods leaves room for further studies. It is important to determine the most efficient method for the veterans. Moreover, it is vital to develop the most effective approach to PTSD treatment not only in veterans but also patients from other social groups. In addition, a number of probabilities and opportunities can be drawn from the study. It is, therefore, a springboard for other research on the treatment methods for PTSD to be conducted in the future.

Conclusion

Kylene Occhietti has conducted a proper and well-structured research project that has analyzed the relevant aspects entirely. However, the literature review still needs to be expanded and provide additional information for the research project to remain relevant and significant in the future. It is also increasingly important to conduct a randomized research that will have more applicability not only to the patients who were being treated. Also, to determine the most efficient method applicable to a vast range of people suffering from the condition, there arises the need for more studies. PTSD is a prevalent problem, and in-depth research into the best methods is critical to developing the best criteria for the patient’s treatment in the long-run.

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