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Perceived Benefits of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy beyond Symptom Reduction: Qualitative Follow-Up Study of a Clinical Trial for Individuals with Treatment-Resistant PTSD.

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Abstract

We present select findings from a long-term follow-up qualitative study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for veterans, firefighters, and police officers suffering from chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted at participants’ one-year follow-up after a recently completed phase 2 clinical trial. Available interviews from 19 of 24 participants were analyzed. This qualitative analysis sought to complement, clarify, and expand upon the quantitative findings obtained from the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-IV) and supported by the Long-Term Follow-Up (LTFU) Questionnaire. Pertinent data from interview transcripts were coded and analyzed using an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) methodological framework. We explore prominent thematic elements from participant accounts to better understand the outcomes experienced in this trial. All participants reported experiencing lasting personal benefits and enhanced quality of life that extend beyond quantifiable symptom reduction. We explore a range of treatment benefits beyond symptom reduction to highlight the utility of qualitative investigations of the process and effects of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Limitations and challenges encountered in conducting this study are discussed along with recommendations for improved qualitative research protocols in future clinical trials.
Barone, W., Beck, J., Mitsunaga-Whitten, M., & Perl, P. (2019). Perceived Benefits of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy beyond Symptom Reduction: Qualitative Follow-Up Study of a Clinical Trial for Individuals with Treatment-Resistant PTSD. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 1-10., https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2019.1580805
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