Incorporating psychological debriefing techniques within a brief group psychotherapy programme for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
W Busuttil, G J Turnbull, L A Neal, J Rollins, A G West, N Blanch, R Herepath


BACKGROUND The Royal Air Force Wroughton Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Rehabilitation Programme is described. It comprised a 12-day structured in-patient 'course' of group psychotherapy and day-case group follow-up sessions over a one-year period. Psychological debriefing was the main therapeutic technique employed.

METHOD This is a 'before and after' open outcome study. A comprehensive assessment protocol confirmed the presence and severity of PTSD and measured co-morbid psychopathological status, occupational and social function longitudinally.

RESULTS A highly significant global response to treatment is demonstrated in the 34 subjects included in the study, with 85.3% not fulfilling the DSM-III-R criteria for PTSD at one year after treatment.

CONCLUSIONS Further controlled studies assessing the value of psychological debriefing techniques in the treatment of established PTSD are required.