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Patient experiences and reported effectiveness of a multimodal short-term pilot therapy group for veteran men with military sexual trauma.
Yahalom J, Yarns BC, Clair K, Cloitre M, Lang AJ, Hamilton AB. Patient experiences and reported effectiveness of a multimodal short-term pilot therapy group for veteran men with military sexual trauma. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2022 Dec 1; 78(12):2410-2426.
Despite recognition of its prevalence and impact, little is known about treatment for veteran men with a history of military sexual trauma (MST). While research suggests that such veterans may suffer from gender-based distress that poses unique treatment challenges, MST-focused treatment draws upon contemporary PTSD best practices that may overlook gender. The current initial pilot study evaluated a multimodal, time-limited men''s MST group therapy that integrated exposure- and mindfulness-based, psychoeducational, and psychodynamic group interventions.
This study examined pre- and posttreatment data from patients who completed group treatment (n? = 24). Three-fourths of patients were 60 years or older, over 80% Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Assessment data were collected using the PTSD Checklist (PCL-5), an adaptation of the Recovery Assessment Scale, and open-ended written responses. Paired-samples t tests and effect sizes (Hedge''s g) were calculated. Indictive thematic analysis was used for qualitative analysis.
Qualitative and quantitative data showed improvements in shame, self-forgiveness, and belonginess. There were significant reductions from pre- to posttreatment in total PCL-5 score (g? = -0.69) and all 4 symptom clusters (g? = -0.51--0.71), and significant improvements in 8 out of 10 recovery items (g? = 0.44-2.46).
More research is needed to assess whether veteran men with a history of MST benefit from treatment that provides multimodal, multitheoretical interventions that address gender-based symptoms in addition to PTSD. The results of this study support future research in a randomized controlled study.