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More evidence supports psychotherapy as first-line therapy for PTSD

Key clinical point: Psychotherapeutic treatments may be more beneficial than pharmacologic therapy for adults with PTSD.

Major finding: In long-term findings, psychotherapeutic treatments were deemed superior to pharmacologic treatments in the network meta-analysis (standard mean difference, –0.83; 95% confidence interval, –1.59 to –0.07) and in the pairwise meta-analysis (95% CI, –1.18 to –0.09) in three randomized, controlled trials; combination treatment appeared to provide better outcomes than psychotherapeutic treatments in a network meta-analysis (95% CI, –1.87 to –0.04) but not a pairwise meta-analysis.

Study details: A network meta-analysis comparing psychotherapeutic, pharmacologic, and combined therapies for 922 adults with PTSD in 12 randomized clinical trials.

Disclosures: One of the authors reported receiving personal fees from JAMA Psychiatry for performing statistical reviews. The other authors reported no relevant conflicts of interest.


Merz J et al. JAMA Psychiatry. 2019 Jun 12. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.0951.