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Role of Sleep in Exposure Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in OIF/OEF Combat Veterans

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Date Issued:
2016
Abstract/Description:
Exposure therapy is theorized to reduce posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology by promoting habituation/extinction of fear responses to trauma-related cues. Empirical evidence indicates that emotional memory, including habituation/extinction learning, is enhanced by sleep. However, service members with combat-related PTSD often report disturbed sleep. In this study, quality of sleep and indicators of extinction learning were examined in veterans of recent wars who had completed an exposure-based PTSD intervention. Fifty-five participants were categorized into two groups based on self-reported quality of sleep: low sleep disruption severity (LSDS; N = 29) and high sleep disruption severity (HSDS; N = 26). Participants in the LSDS group exhibited faster habituation to their traumatic memories and reported less PTSD symptomatology during and following treatment relative to participants in the HSDS group. These findings indicate that individuals with combat-related PTSD reporting less disturbed sleep experience greater extinction learning during exposure therapy. Thus, incorporating interventions that target PTSD-related sleep disturbances may be one way to maximize exposure therapy outcomes in service members with PTSD.
Title: Role of Sleep in Exposure Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in OIF/OEF Combat Veterans.
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Name(s): Mesa, Franklin, Author
Beidel, Deborah, Committee Chair
Neer, Sandra, Committee Member
Bowers, Clint, Committee Member
Ni, Liqiang, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Exposure therapy is theorized to reduce posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology by promoting habituation/extinction of fear responses to trauma-related cues. Empirical evidence indicates that emotional memory, including habituation/extinction learning, is enhanced by sleep. However, service members with combat-related PTSD often report disturbed sleep. In this study, quality of sleep and indicators of extinction learning were examined in veterans of recent wars who had completed an exposure-based PTSD intervention. Fifty-five participants were categorized into two groups based on self-reported quality of sleep: low sleep disruption severity (LSDS; N = 29) and high sleep disruption severity (HSDS; N = 26). Participants in the LSDS group exhibited faster habituation to their traumatic memories and reported less PTSD symptomatology during and following treatment relative to participants in the HSDS group. These findings indicate that individuals with combat-related PTSD reporting less disturbed sleep experience greater extinction learning during exposure therapy. Thus, incorporating interventions that target PTSD-related sleep disturbances may be one way to maximize exposure therapy outcomes in service members with PTSD.
Identifier: CFE0006355 (IID), ucf:51520 (fedora)
Note(s): 2016-08-01
Ph.D.
Sciences, Psychology
Doctoral
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Posttraumatic stress disorder -- exposure therapy -- military -- veterans -- habituation -- sleep
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0006355
Restrictions on Access: campus 2021-08-15
Host Institution: UCF

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