Is Group Imagery Rehearsal for Posttrauma Nightmares as Good at Reducing PTSD Symptoms as Group Treatment for PTSD?

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A recent meta-analysis by Sloan, Feinstein, Gallagher, Beck, and Keane (2013) indicated that group treatments for PTSD have large effects on PTSD symptoms from pre- to posttreatment (within treatment d = 0.71, 95% CI [.51, .91]) and compared to wait-list comparison conditions (between group d = .56, 95% CI [.31, .82]). This degree of improvement in PTSD symptoms is strikingly similar to that observed in a recent meta-analysis of nightmare-focused imagery rehearsal therapy (within treatment d = 0.72, 95% CI [0.54, 0.89]; between group d = 0.67, 95% CI [0.27, 1.06]; Casement & Swanson, 2012. The comparable effect sizes suggest that imagery rehearsal for posttrauma nightmares, which is typically delivered in groups, may be as good at reducing PTSD symptoms as other group treatments for PTSD. Future research should directly compare the efficacy of imagery rehearsal to more established PTSD interventions.

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