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Early Findings from NIDA's Clinical Trials Network "Women and Trauma" Study.

Presented at the American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA, August 17-20, 2007.

Denise Hien, PhD (Columbia School of Social Work, LI Node).

Prevalence estimates suggest that as many as 80% of women seeking treatment for chemical dependency report lifetime histories of sexual and/or physical assault. Substance-dependent women who have been exposed to interpersonal trauma and violence represent a particularly high-risk subgroup, revealing poorer treatment retention and outcomes. Thus, for the majority of women, integrated interventions that address both substance use and trauma are strongly indicated. Research that focuses on the implementation of such integrated treatment models and their effectiveness for women in drug treatment is critical to address the needs of this population.

Conducted within the CTN context, this study (protocol CTN-0015, "Women's Treatment for Trauma and Substance Use Disorders") applied a prospective, randomized, controlled, repeated measures intent-to-treat design to assess the effectiveness of adding an integrated PTSD and substance abuse treatment group (Seeking Safety) to standard substance abuse treatment (TAU). The enhanced treatment condition (Seeking Safety plus TAU) was compared to a non-specific attention-control condition (Women’s Health Education plus TAU). Participants were 351 drug dependent women with at least one lifetime traumatic event who met current DSM-IV criteria for full or subthreshold PTSD and who presented for treatment for a substance use disorder(s). Trained counselors in six clinical treatment programs nationwide conducted the two group treatments twice weekly over a 6-week period (12 sessions total for both treatments). Primary outcomes assessed were: (1) substance use abstinence; and (2) PTSD symptom severity during the course of treatment and at 1-week post-treatment follow-up. Secondary outcomes were: (3) treatment retention and adherence; (4) global psychiatric symptom severity and (5) HIV-sexual risk behaviors. This presentation highlights preliminary trial findings drawn from early outcome data focusing on both primary and secondary (in treatment and 1-week post-treatment data) measures. Implications of outcomes are discussed in the context of implementation challenges to community-based drug treatment programs. (Presentation, PowerPoint Slides, English, 2007)

Keywords: Gender-specific interventions | Post-traumatic stress disorder | Retention - Treatment | Seeking Safety program |Trauma | Women | Women's Health Education program | American Psychological Association (APA) annual convention, 2007

Document No: 234

Submitted by Denise Hien, PhD, Columbia School of Social Work, LI Node, 9/10/2007.

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Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
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