Online Therapy for Soldiers with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Members of the army are confronted with physical and mental stress. About 20% of the soldiers who return from foreign assignments meet the diagnosis criteria of a mental disorder. 3% meet the criteria of a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yet, only nearly half of the affected people are in touch with the health system and only 18% of the group are in adequate medical treatment. The reasons for this may be found in the shortage of the care system. But also the sense of shame and the impairments due to illnesses contribute to the lack of help provided for the affected persons.
Therapy studies support as well that there is still a need for optimization regarding the treatment of soldiers with PTSD (Steenkamp et al., 2015). The effectiveness of online therapy for PTSD is generally well proved; therefore, online therapy might serve as an innovative option for the special target group soldiers. The Internet based psychotherapy has the capacity to encounter care obstacles by focusing directly on the daily living environment of the patients. It offers low-threshold support with the help of qualified therapists and thus, a time and cost economic alternative to conventional face-to-face psychotherapy.
Based on numerous preliminary works of our working group, 100 soldiers with posttraumatic stress disorder shall be treated in a randomized intervention study for 11 sessions with Internet based psychotherapy. The treatment will be evaluated with the help of extensive process and completion diagnostics with established measuring instruments.
- Does the therapeutic relationship contribute significantly to the intervention’s success?
- For which patients does the online therapy result in particularly favorable effects?
- Do different therapy contents (symptom related / activity related) lead to different changes?
- Which side effects (undesired changes) occur due to the Internet based interventions?
- Do physiological markers can trace the changes due to online therapy?
Klasen, M., Knaevelsrud, C., & Böttche, M. (2013). Die therapeutische Beziehung in internetbasierten Therapieverfahren. Ein Überblick. Der Nervenarzt, 84, 823-831.
Knaevelsrud, C., & Maercker, A. (2010). Long-Term Effects of an Internet-based Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 39, 72-77.
Knaevelsrud, C., & Maercker, A. (2007). Internet-based treatment for PTSD reduces distress and facilitates the development of a strong therapeutic alliance: a randomized controlled clinical trial. BMC Psychiatry, 7, 13.
If you are interested in the online therapy with soldiers, please contact our team:
Otherwise, contact us by telephone on mondays and on wednesdays from 10-12 am and on thursdays from 2-4 pm: 030-838-54798 or 030-838-50434
Prof. Dr. Christine Knaevelsrud