Feb 26, 2020

Separation anxiety in PTSD: A pilot study of mechanisms in patients undergoing IPT

Depression and Anxiety
Barbara MilrodJohn C Markowitz


Separation anxiety disorder (SAD) comprises one aspect of attachment dysregulation or insecurity. Although SAD aggravates posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) risk, no clinical research has tracked how many patients with PTSD have SAD, its clinical associations, or its response to PTSD treatment. Our open trial of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for veterans with PTSD assessed these SAD domains. Twenty-nine veterans diagnosed with chronic PTSD on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale were assessed for SAD using the Structured Clinical Interview for Separation Anxiety Symptoms (SCI-SAS), and for Symptom-Specific Reflective Function (SSRF), another dysregulated-attachment marker capturing patients' emotional understanding of their symptoms. Patients received 14 IPT sessions for PTSD with assessments at baseline, Week 4 (SCI-SAS and SSRF), and termination for SAD, PTSD, and depression. At baseline, 69% of patients met SAD criteria. Separation anxiety did not correlate with baseline PTSD severity, depressive severity, or age when traumatized; patients with and without SAD had comparable PTSD and depression severity. Patients with baseline comorbid SAD who completed IPT (N = 17) reported significantly improved adult separation anx...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Group Interviews
Risk Assessment
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety Symptoms
Traumatic Injury
Depressed Mood
DNA Replication
Clinical Trials
Pilot Projects

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