Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Postdisaster Distress: A Community Based Treatment Program for Survivors of Hurricane Katrina
Many disaster survivors suffer from postdisaster distress regardless of whether or not they meet criteria for specific psychiatric diagnoses. Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Postdisaster Distress (CBT-PD), a ten-session manualized intervention, was developed to address a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reactions to disaster. Trained community-based therapists provided CBT-PD to adult survivors of Hurricane Katrina as part of InCourage, a program sponsored by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Participants (n = 88) who were assessed at referral, pretreatment, intermediate treatment, and posttreatment showed significant and large improvements. The overall pre-post effect size was 1.4 in intention-to-treat analyses. Improvements were comparable for persons with more severe distress and persons with moderate distress at referral. Benefits were maintained at follow-up for the 66 adults who have been assessed.
KeywordsDisaster mental health services Hurricane Katrina Cognitive behavioral therapy
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