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Mantram repetition trumps present-centred therapy in reducing PTSD symptoms in veterans

09 Jul 2018
Raskind’s trial involving 304 war veterans found no significant differences between the group given prazosin and the placebo group.

Individual treatment of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using mantram repetition, a nontrauma-focused complementary therapy, is more effective than present-centred therapy for reducing PTSD symptom severity and insomnia, reports a study.

Improvements in the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) score were significantly greater in the mantram group vs the present-centred therapy group both at the post-treatment assessment (between-group difference across time, –9.98; –3.63 to –16.00; d=0.49) and at the 2-month follow-up (between-group difference, –9.34; 1.50 to –17.18; d=0.46).

The mantram group also had lower self-reported PTSD symptom severity compared with the present-centred therapy group at the post-treatment assessment. However, no difference was observed at the 2-month follow-up.

Compared with the present-centred therapy group, significantly more patients in the mantram group who completed the 2-month follow-up no longer met the criteria for PTSD (59 percent vs 40 percent; p<0.04). However, there were no significant between-group difference in the percentage of participants who had clinically meaningful changes (≥10-point improvements) in CAPS score (75 percent vs 61 percent).

Furthermore, significantly more patients in the mantram group had reductions in insomnia at both post-treatment assessment and 2-month follow-up.

In this two-site, open-allocation, blinded-assessment randomized trial, 173 veterans with military-related PTSD from two Veterans Affairs outpatient clinics (January 2012 to March 2014) were included. Participants in the mantram group (n=89) learned skills for silent mantram repetition, slowing thoughts and one-pointed attention. Those in the comparison group (n=84) received present-centred therapy, focusing on currently stressful events and problem-solving skills. Both treatments were delivered per individual in eight weekly 1-hour sessions.

Change in PTSD symptom severity, as measured by the CAPS and by self-report, was the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcome measures were insomnia, depression, anger, spiritual well-being, mindfulness and quality of life. The authors used linear mixed models to perform intent-to-treat analysis.

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Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 10 Jul 2018
A dual-hormone artificial pancreas (DAP) with a rapid delivery of insulin and pramlintide in a fixed ratio improves glycaemic control and reduces glucose variability in adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) compared with first-generation artificial pancreas delivering insulin alone, according to a study presented at ADA 2018.
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