skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Differential treatment response trajectories in individuals with subclinical and clinical PTSD.

Korte KJ, Allan NP, Gros DF, Acierno R. Differential treatment response trajectories in individuals with subclinical and clinical PTSD. Journal of anxiety disorders. 2016 Mar 1; 38:95-101.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Subclinical presentations of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), wherein patients are one or two symptom criteria short of the full disorder, are prevalent and associated with levels of distress and impaired functioning approximating that of full PTSD. Nonetheless, research examining treatment efficacy for this group is in the nascent stage. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether the subclinical PTSD group would: (1) show a greater reduction in PTSD symptoms at pre and post treatment in response to an exposure based treatment and (2) show a greater rate of change over the course of treatment, when compared to the full criteria PTSD group. We also examined whether differences would emerge when examining PTSD symptom clusters. Consistent with predictions, the subclinical PTSD group demonstrated a greater reduction in PTSD symptoms at post-treatment (29%) than those with a PTSD diagnosis (14%). Further, the groups had different treatment trajectories, with the subclinical PTSD group showing a marginally greater rate of change during the course of treatment. Findings also varied by symptom cluster with the subclinical group showing a greater rate of change in the intrusions, hypervigilance, and avoidance symptom clusters. There was not a significant between group difference in the numbing symptom cluster. This study provides preliminary evidence that treating PTSD symptoms at the subclinical level may result in a larger, and more rapid symptom reduction, and thus has implications supporting treatment earlier in the developmental trajectory of the disorder.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.