Interpersonal violence and head injury: The effects on treatment for PTSD.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Objective: This study sought to understand the extent and influence of head injuries (HIs) on recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a sample of treatment-seeking survivors of interpersonal violence, including intimate partner violence (IPV). Method: Three randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) investigating the efficacy of cognitive processing therapy were combined to form a repository resulting in 306 participants (92% women) diagnosed with PTSD. Participants were an average age of 36.83 years old (SD = 12.15), and 56% were White and 40% were Black. RCTs were conducted at the same location, with the same procedures and overlapping staff. PTSD was diagnosed via the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, depression was measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and trauma history and injuries were assessed via the clinician-administered Trauma Interview. Results: Most of the sample (74.9%) reported HI during at least 1 interpersonal assault. Higher rates of HI were reported in those who endorsed IPV (84.5%; p = .001). To assess the influence of HI on outcomes, the sample was grouped into 3 conditions: HI (at least 1 significant head injury during trauma), NHI (denied head injuries, but reported serious nonhead injuries), and NI (denied any injury). All injury groups improved on PTSD and depressive symptoms with no moderation of group. Conclusion: Most individuals exposed to violence experienced at least 1 head injury, with higher rates in those assaulted by an intimate partner. The experience of HI did not negatively impact recovery from PTSD, including with participants histories of multiple head injuries. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Galovski, TE; Smith, BN; Micol, RL; Resick, PA

Published Date

  • March 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 376 - 384

PubMed ID

  • 33271049

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1942-969X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/tra0000976


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States