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Brief trauma therapy for occupational trauma-related PTSD/CPTSD in UK police

Biggs, C; Tehrani, N; Billings, J; (2021) Brief trauma therapy for occupational trauma-related PTSD/CPTSD in UK police. Occupational Medicine , Article kqab075. 10.1093/occmed/kqab075. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Police are frequently exposed to occupational trauma, making them vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions. Through personal and occupational trauma police are also at risk of developing Complex PTSD (CPTSD), associated with prolonged and repetitive trauma. Police Occupational Health Services require effective interventions to treat officers experiencing mental health conditions, including CPTSD. However, there is a lack of guidance for the treatment of occupational trauma. AIMS: To explore differences in demographics and trauma exposure between police with CPTSD and PTSD and compare the effectiveness of brief trauma-focused therapy between these diagnostic groups. METHODS: Observational cohort study using clinical data from the Trauma Support Service, providing brief trauma-focused therapy for PTSD (cognitive behavioural therapy/eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) to UK police officers. Demographics, trauma exposure, baseline symptom severity and treatment effectiveness were compared between police with PTSD and CPTSD. Changes in PTSD, depression and anxiety symptoms were used to measure treatment effectiveness. RESULTS: Brief trauma therapy reduced symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety. Treatment effectiveness did not differ between CPTSD and PTSD groups. Police with CPTSD exposed to both primary and secondary occupational trauma had poorer treatment outcomes than those exposed to a single occupational trauma type. CONCLUSIONS: Brief trauma-focused interventions are potentially effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety in police with CPTSD and PTSD. Further research is needed to establish whether additional CPTSD symptoms (affect dysregulation, self-perception and relational difficulties) are also reduced.

Type: Article
Title: Brief trauma therapy for occupational trauma-related PTSD/CPTSD in UK police
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqab075
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqab075
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Complex PTSD, PTSD, occupational trauma, police officers, trauma therapy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132456
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