Date of Submission

2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Elizabeth Gosch, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Petra Kottsieper, PhD

Third Advisor

Stephanie Yoder, PsyD

Abstract

Prevalence rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMIs) are high, with an estimated 49% to 100% being exposed to potentially traumatic events. The consequences of these disorders are serious and lasting, with PTSD being the costliest of mental health disorders. At the same time, established evidence-based treatments for PTSD are often not feasible in treatment settings utilized by individuals with SMIs, namely the general acute inpatient psychiatric hospital. Psychoeducational approaches have been incorporated as a component of evidence-based interventions for trauma and have been feasibly implemented in the general acute inpatient psychiatric hospital. The objective of this study was to examine the acceptability and impact of a two-session psychoeducational intervention for trauma for individuals in a general acute inpatient psychiatric facility. Participants (N = 70) on a general acute inpatient psychiatric unit were assigned to one of two conditions: a) two session psychoeducational intervention or b) general group treatment as usual. Measurements of participant PTSD symptoms and knowledge of PTSD were collected before and after treatment. Participants were also assessed subsequent to the intervention to examine treatment acceptability, as well as readiness to engage in future trauma focused treatment. Results indicated that participants in the two-session psychoeducational group rated the group as significantly more acceptable than participants rated the acceptability of the general treatment group. Involvement in the two session psychoeducational group did not result in an increase in PTSD symptomatology. No significant differences in knowledge of PTSD or readiness for future trauma-focused treatment were found. Nonetheless, these findings have implications for the treatment and dissemination of evidence-based treatment of PTSD for patients with SMI in the general acute inpatient psychiatric hospital.