This study investigated sudden gains, i.e., rapid and stable improvements, in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that may occur in cognitive-behavioral therapy. Twenty-nine of 72 participants (39.2%) experienced a sudden gain during treatment. Mixed model ANOVAs analyzed sudden gains impact on clinician-rated PTSD symptom severity, patient-rated PTSD symptom severity, and patient-rated depressive symptom severity. Sudden gains in PTSD symptomology were associated with greater reductions in PTSD symptom severity for the avoidance/numbing and hyperarousal symptom clusters at posttreatment. By 6-month follow-up, the sudden gains group had maintained those reductions in symptoms, but the nonsudden gains group had achieved equal reductions in symptom severity. Participants experiencing sudden gains on PTSD measures had lower depression severity at posttreatment and follow-up.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health