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Pharmacological-assisted Psychotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Background: Pharmacological-assisted psychotherapies, using conventional and novel drug agents, are increasingly being used both in clinical and experimental research settings, respectively. Objective: To determine the efficacy of conventional and novel pharmacological-assisted psychotherapies in reducing PTSD symptom severity. Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised-controlled trials were undertaken; 21 studies were included. Results: MDMA-assisted therapy was found to statistically superior to active and inactive placebo-assisted therapy in reduction of PTSD symptoms (standardised mean difference -1.09, 95% CI -1.60 to -0.58). There was no evidence of superiority over placebo for any other intervention. Conclusions: MDMA-assisted therapy demonstrated an impressive effect size; however, it is difficult to have confidence at this stage in this intervention due to the small numbers of participants included, and more research in this area is needed. There was no evidence to support the efficacy of any other drug-assisted interventions.

Hoskins, M. D., Sinnerton, R., Nakamura, A., Underwood, J., Slater, A., Lewis, C., Roberts, N. P., Bisson, J. I., Lee, M., & Clarke, L. (2021). Pharmacological-assisted Psychotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European journal of psychotraumatology, 12(1), 1853379. https://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2020.1853379

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