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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00800

Effectiveness of a multimodal, day clinic group-based treatment program for trauma-related disorders: Differential therapy outcome for complex PTSD vs. non-complex trauma-related disorders

 Anke Philipps1, 2*, Andrea Silbermann1,  Eva Morawa1, Mark Stemmler2 and  Yesim Erim1
  • 1Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany
  • 2University of Erlangen Nuremberg, Germany

Background: The effectiveness of the psychotherapeutic treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder is evidence-based and generally considered proven. However, the effectiveness of multimodal, group-based day clinic treatment programs has rarely been investigated. Moreover, there is no consensus in the literature concerning the question whether psychotherapeutic approaches for trauma-related disorders are also applicable for patients with complex PTSD (cPTSD). The aim of the study was to evaluate our multimodal group-based treatment program regarding a change of psychiatric burden, a change of protective factors and possible differences in therapy outcome for patients with or without cPTSD.
Methods: Our group-based treatment for patients with trauma-related disorders was examined in 66 patients who filled out the following questionnaires in the first and in the last week of treatment: Essen Trauma Inventory (ETI), Screening for complex PTSD (SkPTBS), Patient Health Questionnaire- somatization module (PHQ-15), Beck Depression Inventory-Revised (BDI-II), Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) and Questionnaire on social support (F-SozU).
Results: The treatment was shown to significantly reduce depressive symptoms (p < 0.001, d = -0.536) and increase posttraumatic growth (New Possibilities: p = 0.004, d = 0.405; Personal Strength: p = 0.005, d = 0.414). For patients with cPTSD, depressive (p = 0.010, d = -0.63) as well as cPTSD symptoms (p = 0.020, d = -0.796) were significantly reduced, perceived social support was increased after day clinic treatment (p = 0.003, d = 0.61). Contrary to our expectations, somatoform symptoms were increased after therapy.
Conclusions: The present work expands previous research by demonstrating that multimodal group-based, day clinic treatment is effective in the treatment of trauma-related disorders, also in its complex form.

Keywords: Trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, complex ptsd, Therapy outcome, day clinic treatment, posttraumatic growth, social support

Received: 06 Jul 2019; Accepted: 07 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Philipps, Silbermann, Morawa, Stemmler and Erim. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Anke Philipps, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany,