Prevention and treatment of PTSD : the current evidence base

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common condition that affects millions of people across the world. Up to date recommendations based on the best available evidence are vital to prevent and treat this debilitating condition. In this issue, we are bringing together a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses that underpinned the development of the 2018 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Guidelines.


The strongest evidence was found for psychological treatments for PTSD, in particular for cognitive behavioural therapy with a trauma focus (CBT-TF)(generic), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), cognitive therapy (CT), eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) and prolonged exposure (PE). For the subgroup of military personnel and veterans, results were less impressive. Dropout from trauma-focused psychological treatments was higher than for other forms of psychological treatment for PTSD in adults. For early interventions, CBT-TF, CT and EMDR were recommended. With regard to pharmacological approaches, a number of them were effective but with a low effect size. Of the pharmacologically assisted psychotherapies, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy was promising. Six complementary and alternative approaches showed emerging evidence.


We now have an evidence base for a diverse range of pharmacological, psychological and other approaches that should facilitate their implementation and lead to the more effective management of people affected by traumatic events.



• A diverse range of pharmacological, psychological and other approaches now have an evidence base for the prevention and treatment of PTSD.

• This editorial introduces the EJPT special issue that considers these interventions and their relative strengths in more detail.

Jonathan I. Bisson & Miranda Olff | 2021
In: European Journal of Psychotraumatology ; ISSN: 2000-8066 | 12 | 1 | january | 1824381
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Interventions, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Prevention, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Psychotherapy, Psychotrauma, PTSD (en), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Treatment, Treatment Dropouts
Affiliation author(s):