Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently co-occurs with traumatic brain injury (TBI). We conducted a systematic review to evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of treatments for PTSD in adult patients with a history of TBI. We searched for longitudinal studies aimed at treatments for PTSD patients who sustained a TBI, published in English between 1980 and February 2019. Twenty-three studies were found eligible, and 26 case studies were included for a separate overview. The quality of eligible studies was assessed using the Research Triangle Institute item bank. The majority of studies included types of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in male service members and veterans with a history of mild TBI in the United States. Studies using prolonged exposure (PE), cognitive-processing therapy (CPT) or other types of CBT, usually in combination with additional treatments, showed favorable outcomes. A smaller number of studies described complementary and novel therapies, which showed promising results. Overall, the quality of studies was considered low. We concluded that CBT seem appropriate for the patient population with history of TBI. The evidence is less strong for other therapies. We recommend controlled studies of PTSD treatments including more female patients and those with a history of moderate to severe TBIs in civilian and military populations.

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Clinical Psychology Review
Department of Public Health

Mikolić, A. (Ana), Polinder, S., Retel Helmrich, I.R.A. (Isabel R.A.), Haagsma, J., & Cnossen, M. (2019). Treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder in patients with a history of traumatic brain injury: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review (Vol. 73). doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2019.101776