Assessment of research criteria for exposure-based outcome studies of PTSD

Taylor, Jacques William (2004-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Treatment outcome research strives towards objective estimates of disorder-specific treatment efficacy and has been applied to most psychiatric disorders. However, due to shortcomings in outcome research designs, problems still remain regarding the interpretation and generalisability of treatment outcomes. This is despite the development of research methodology criteria such as the Gold Standards, currently viewed as essential criteria for well-controlled cognitive-behavioural outcome research. The objectives of this assignment are (a) to assess the Gold Standards as criteria for treatment outcome research by means of a qualitative overview and evaluation of exposure treatment studies for PTSD, and (b) to make recommendations for the expansion and/or modification of these criteria. An assessment of five selected treatment outcome trials, based on the Gold Standards, showed significant limitations in the scope of the Gold Standards regarding (a) the inclusion of target symptoms in the research hypotheses, (b) estimates of treatment adherence, (c) guidelines for statistical analyses of attrition points, (d) the ethical implementation of exposure treatment, and (e) estimates of significant clinical change. It is concluded that the Gold Standards are not sufficient to ensure valid and reliable treatment outcomes. Recommendations are made for the expansion of four of the existing Gold Standards parameters and three additional criteria are proposed. Key words: treatment outcome research, Gold Standards, post-traumatic stress disorder, exposure therapy.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Navorsing oor behandelingsuitkoms streef na objektiewe resultate oor die uitkoms van behandeling vir spesifieke psigiatriese versteurings. Nogtans, weens tekortkominge in die ontwerp van uitkomsstudies, word talle probleme steeds ervaar met die interpretasie en veralgemeenbaarheid van die resultate van die studies. Dit is die geval ten spyte van die ontwikkeling van navorsingskriteria soos die "Gold Standards" wat huidig as die belangrikste kriteria vir uitkomsstudies op die gebied van die kognitiewe gedragsterapie aanvaar word. Hierdie projek het ten doelom (a) die Gold Standards as kriteria vir uitkomsnavorsing te assesseer deur middel van 'n kwalitatiewe oorsig en evaluering van vyf geselekteerde uitkomsstudies van blootstellingsterapie vir post-traumatiese stresversteuring, en (b) om aanbevelings te maak ter aanvulling enJofwysiging van die Gold Standards. Evaluasie van die studies het betekenisvolle beperkings in die Gold Standards se omvattenheid uitgelig in terme van (a) die insluiting van teikensimptome in die navorsingshipoteses, (b) die skatting van behandelingvoitrekking ("treatment adherence"), (c) riglyne vir die statistiese analise van data oor attrisie, (d) die etiese implementering van blootstellingsterapie, en (e) skattings van betekenisvolle kliniese verandering. Dit blyk dat die Gold Standards nie voldoende is om geldige en betroubare resultate oor behandelingsuitkomste te verseker nie. Aanbevelings word gemaak vir die hersiening van vier van die Gold Standards kriteria en drie addisionele kriteria word voorgestel. Sleutelwoorde: behandelingsuitkomsnavorsing. Gold Standards, post-traumatiese stresversteuring, blootstellingsterapie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49859
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