PTSD Research Paper
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) is a disorder that occurs in people who have suffered through a traumatic event. Such as sexual abuse, natural disasters, war, etc. These people then go through three different types of symptoms; the first is called re-experiencing where they relive the event through nightmares, flashbacks and bad thoughts. Then there’s the second set of symptoms which are called avoidance symptoms where they do things like avoiding an area where the event occurred or somewhere that reminds them of that event, getting a strong sense of guilt, depression, worry or becoming emotionally numb, not being able to remember the event or losing interest in things that they once enjoyed doing. Then there is the third set of symptoms called hyperarousal symptoms which include having angry outbursts, trouble sleeping, being easily startled and feeling on edge(“Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” 1). PTSD can occur in anyone and it is something that is becoming a major disorder in today’s society with the Iraq/Afghanistan wars that have been going on since 2001. There has been a lot of research done on it to prove that PTSD is actually real and that it is affecting more and more people, especially war veterans, and going untreated. Review of Research:
There was an experiment that was done by 7 doctors who have M.D.s and Ph.Ds. They did a random, controlled experiment on a small group of active service members with the goal of comparing which treatment for PTSD has better results, TAU or VR-GET. The experiment procedures were approved by the Institutional Review Board and an independent medical monitor. It was conducted at U.S. Navy medical facilities in San Diego and Camp Pendleton and followed all federal and military guidelines in the treatment of Service Members and research participants(McLay 224). The experiments and patients both were aware of what was going on in the experiment, had to sign consent forms that said they were allowed to leave at any time knowing that they would not receive active duty pay and that they were participating willingly and then the patients signed up for VR-GET or TAU and there was an equal amount of patients in each type of treatment(McLay 224).The abbreviation TAU means treatment as usual which means that the service members go through normal treatments for PTSD like prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, substance rehab, inpatient services or a combination of them(McLay 225). And the abbreviation VR-GET means Virtual Reality-Graded Exposure Therapy which is as it sounds. It is a virtual reality simulation that allows the patient to experience their traumas and phobias in a controlled environment and also be monitored by equipment that measures their response to their surroundings in the virtual reality they’re experiencing. The therapist during this VR simulation can also increase or decrease the stressing factors of the environment based off the patient’s response to what they’re experiencing(McLay 223). The experimenters hypothesized that “patients with combat-related PTSD would be more likely to experience clinically significant improvements in VR-GET than treatment as usual(TAU)(McLay 224).” To participate in the experiment the patients had to have CAPS scores of 40 or higher and then their medical records were reviewed. CAPS is the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale. The experiment was conducted over a 10 week period with a follow up assessment 10 weeks after the experiment ended and it was considered a success if the it showed a clinically meaningful improvement, which means 30% or greater, reduction of PTSD symptoms with CAPS(McLay 224). They then went through their experiments and were assessed after the 10 week period. The results showed that of all 10 participants who had participated in the VR-GET, seven of them showed a 30% or greater improvement in CAPS...
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