Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects twenty-three percent of veterans returning home from deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Left untreated, PTSD is associated with high rates of other disorders, disabilities, and poor quality of life. A new study evaluated a different approach to managing PTSD related symptoms, a mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy.
Researchers at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System randomly assigned 116 veterans with PTSD to receive nine sessions of mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy, which teaches participants to be present in the moment in a nonjudgmental, accepting manner. The others attended group therapy, primarily focusing on current life problems. The veterans were monitored before, during and after treatment.
Results found that among veterans with PTSD, mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy, compared to group therapy, resulted in a greater decrease in PTSD symptom severity.