Benchmarking dialectical behavior therapy for male veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: a pilot study
This pilot study examined the application and effectiveness of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) as a treatment for male combat veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Participants (n=8) were recruited from the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System (VASLCHCS) after seeking mental health services for PTSD symptoms. Veterans completed the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) as well as a battery of self-report questionnaires meant to assess a broad spectrum of PTSD symptomology including depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, anger, sleep disturbance, avoidant behaviors, increased arousal, and hypervigilance as well as general wellbeing. After preassessment, veterans attended a DBT PTSD Coping Skills Group facilitated by staff members (clinical staff and graduate level trainees) at the VASLCHCS for a minimum of 10 weeks. Upon completion of this group, veterans were administered all post treatment assessment protocols. Matched pairs /-tests were conducted for each of the nine assessments used in the present study. Four outcome measures (the CAPS, BDI, M-PTSD and STAXI-2 AX/O) showed statistically significant change between pre- and postassessment. Additionally, a benchmark was conducted using data from published treatment studies for PTSD. Due to a small sample size in the observed data, no statistical analysis was possible; however, effect size results from the observed data were visually compared against aggregated results of the benchmark. This comparison showed the effect sizes of the observed data were equivalent to or greater to those of the benchmark. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed as well as the study limitations.