Intensive treatment for PTSD (I-PE)

We are evaluating an intensive treatment for PTSD, currently in the pilot study stage.

Background – PTSD and conventional treatment

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders and is strongly linked to subsequent psychiatric and medical problems.

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy such as prolonged exposure is an effective treatment for PTSD and is recommended in most clinical guidelines as first-line treatment. However, the treatment period often lasts 3-5 months, which is believed to be a contributing factor to why a significant proportion of patients fail to demonstrate clinically significant symptom change.

Intensive trauma focused treatment

In response, more intensive treatment approaches in which the treatment is delivered daily for five consecutive days have been developed based on the notion that frequency of treatment sessions are a potential mechanism for retention. Preliminary research shows intensive trauma focused treatment (I-PE) to be as effective as when the treatment is delivered by weekly sessions, but with the advantage that the recovery rate is faster and the proportion of patients who drop out decreases.

Before this type of treatment can be offered in regular care in Sweden, it needs to be further evaluated. If I-PE would be found to be feasible, acceptable and effective, this project has the potential to be the first step towards implementation of a novel, superior and more cost-effective mode of treatment delivery for adults with PTSD in regular Swedish health care. 

Group members involved in the project