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The acceptability of a guided internet-based trauma-focused self-help programme (Spring) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Simon, Natalie, Lewis, Catrin ORCID:, Smallman, Kim ORCID:, Brookes-Howell, Lucy ORCID:, Roberts, Neil, Kitchiner, Neil ORCID:, Ariti, Cono ORCID:, Nollett, Claire ORCID:, McNamara, Rachel ORCID: and Bisson, Jonathan ORCID: 2023. The acceptability of a guided internet-based trauma-focused self-help programme (Spring) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). European Journal of Psychotraumatology 14 (2) , 2212554.

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Background Guided internet-based, cognitive behavioural therapy with a trauma-focus (i-CBT-TF) is recommended in guidelines for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There is limited evidence regarding its acceptability, with significant dropout from individual face-to-face CBT-TF, suggesting non-acceptability at least in some cases. Objective To determine the acceptability of a guided internet-based CBT-TF intervention, ‘Spring’, in comparison with face-to-face CBT-TF for mild to moderate PTSD. Method Treatment adherence, satisfaction, and therapeutic alliance were measured quantitatively for participants receiving ‘Spring’ or face-to-face CBT-TF as part of a Randomised Controlled Trial. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of therapists and participants. Results ‘Spring’ guided internet-based CBT-TF was found to be acceptable, with over 89% participants fully or partially completing the programme. Therapy adherence and alliance for ‘Spring’ and face-to-face CBT-TF did not differ significantly, apart from post-treatment participant-reported alliance, which was in favour of face-to-face CBT-TF. Treatment satisfaction was high for both treatments, in favour of face-to-face CBT-TF. Interviews with participants receiving, and therapists delivering ‘Spring’ corroborated its acceptability. Conclusions Guided internet-based CBT-TF is acceptable for many people with mild to moderate PTSD. Findings provide insights into future implementation, highlighting the importance of personalising guided self-help, depending on an individual’s presentation, and preferences. Keywords: post-traumatic stress disorder, internet-based cbt, guided self-help, acceptability, dropout.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Centre for Trials Research (CNTRR)
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 2000-8066
Funders: NIHR HTA
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 May 2023
Date of Acceptance: 2 May 2023
Last Modified: 30 May 2024 01:10

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