Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Family Workshop: A Pilot Study of Preliminary Outcomes and Effect Sizes of an Attachment-Based Intervention for Family Members of Veterans with Combat-Related PTSD
by Courtney, Jennifer M., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2012, 158; 3517079
Abstract (Summary)

Objective. Social support and secure attachment confer protection against the development of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after trauma exposure. Yet there are few empirically-supported interventions for PTSD that address the impact on the family and significant relationships. This research is an intervention development study for "The PTSD Family Workshop," an attachment-based group intervention for family members of veterans with combat-related PTSD. The study examines preliminary outcomes and treatment effect sizes and tests research hypotheses.

Methods. Research hypotheses were tested through an adaptation of a partial crossover design. All research was conducted at the Stratton VA Medical Center and all participants were family members of veterans receiving treatment for combat-related PTSD. Intervention content includes PTSD psycho-education, a description of the impact of PTSD on their veterans and their important others and the factors that influence resilience and readjustment. Participants were recruited for participation in 4 group; each group being composed of an Immediate (n=17) and a Delay (n=11) condition. Participants completed standardized pre-test, post-delay and post-intervention assessments. Study domains included knowledge of PTSD, caregiver empathic concern, caregiver adaptive coping behavior and caregiver burden.

Results. Data analyses revealed that participants who completed the PTSD Family Workshop reported a significant increase in their knowledge of PTSD, their empathic concern and their adaptive coping behaviors as compared to wait-list participants. Analyses of caregiver burden were not significant. Treatment effect sizes were calculated at d=1.66, d=.50 and d=.60 for knowledge of PTSD, caregiver empathic concern and caregiver adaptive coping behaviors respectively.

Conclusion. Research findings support the development and study of innovative treatments for veterans with combat-related PTSD. Results are encouraging and suggest that brief intervention can be of benefit for family members of veterans with PTSD. Overall, this work increased access for psycho-education and support for family members of veterans in the VA system and provided preliminary data for a larger scale controlled study to test intervention efficacy and examine its relationship to outcomes for veterans.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smith, Carolyn
Commitee: Kennedy, Charles R., Loneck, Barry
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Social Welfare
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Attachment-based intervention, Combat-related, Family, Intervention, PTSD, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Veterans
Publication Number: 3517079
ISBN: 978-1-267-47130-7
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