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Campbell SB, Fortney J, Simpson TL, Jakupcak M, Wagner A. Change in social support while participating in behavioral activation for PTSD. Psychological trauma : theory, research, practice and policy. 2019 May 20.
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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Lack of social support predicts the development, maintenance, and exacerbation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Moreover, social dysfunction is associated with recurrent episodes of PTSD care, and detachment/estrangement from others is a strong predictor of suicidal ideation among those with PTSD. Thus, treatments to improve social functioning among those with PTSD are needed. METHOD: Eighty veterans of recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan participated in a randomized controlled trial comparing treatment as usual to behavioral activation (BA) for PTSD, a treatment that focuses on reducing avoidance behaviors and increasing engagement in valued goals rather than explicitly confronting trauma memories. RESULTS: Mixed-model regression analyses revealed that, accounting for gender, baseline PTSD, and marital status, participants who received BA experienced greater improvements in the number of social supports from baseline to posttreatment compared with those in treatment as usual (F1,96 = 6.29, p = .014). Gains were not maintained at 3-month follow-up, and significant results were not found for satisfaction with social supports. CONCLUSIONS: BA may facilitate an increase in the perceived number of social supports available to veterans with PTSD, but treatment adaptation may be necessary to maintain these gains and to increase satisfaction with social support. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).