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Pharmacological-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Hoskins, Mathew D., Sinnerton, Robert, Nakamura, Anna, Underwood, Jack F. G., Slater, Alan, Lewis, Catrin, Roberts, Neil P., Bisson, Jonathan I., Lee, Matthew and Clarke, Liam 2021. Pharmacological-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology 12 (1) , 1853379. 10.1080/20008198.2020.1853379

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (
Publisher: Taylor && Francis
ISSN: 2000-8198
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 31 October 2020
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2022 12:37

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