Treatment-related reductions in PTSD and changes in physical health symptoms in women.
This study examined the relationship between change in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms over the course of PTSD treatment and the association with changes in general physical health symptoms. Both positive health habits (e.g., exercise) and negative (e.g., smoking), were examined to determine if they accounted for the association between changes in PTSD severity over time and changes in physical health. Participants were 150 women seeking treatment for PTSD. Latent growth curve modeling indicated a substantial relationship (R (2) = 34%) between changes in PTSD and changes in physical health that occurred during and shortly following treatment for PTSD. However, there was no evidence to suggest that changes in health behaviors accounted for this relationship. Thus, PTSD treatment can have beneficial effects on self-reported physical health symptoms, even without direct treatment focus on health per se, and is not accounted for by shifts in health behavior.
Shipherd, JC; Clum, G; Suvak, M; Resick, PA
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