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Mental Health: Research Methodologies Issues Essay


Well established treatments are those that have supporting research evidence. The supporting evidence comes from different studies that are well designed and conducted by independent investigators. On the other hand, a probably efficacious treatment is one that has study support, which is well designed. Meanwhile, treatments can also be controversial because there are studies of the given treatment yielding conflicting results. In other cases, treatment becomes controversial because it is efficacious, yet claims of why it works do not follow research evidence (Hajcak & Starr, 2013).

Efficacious treatment examples are prolonged exposure, present-centered therapy, and cognitive processing therapy. Another example is seeking safety (for PSTD with co-morbid substance use disorder), while the treatment that has a rating of probably efficacious is stress inoculation therapy. The efficacious status of psychological debriefing remains unknown while eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment are efficacious, but probably damaging (Hajcak & Starr, 2013).

Article 1

The study by Garske (2011) examines the rehabilitation treatments offered to a new generation of veterans who are at risk of chronic mental health problems.

Summary of treatment

The study reviews literature that shows the symptoms of PSTD and then analyzes other studies on the treatment of PTSD. The paper covers the main PTSD treatment options like CBT and EMDR. It discusses each treatment separately based on the available literature.

Summary of methodology

Part of the discussion is the link of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment done to veterans as a practical alternative to behavioral exposure treatments. At the same time, it highlights controversies that exist with the treatment, but it confirms that there have been many randomized trials that support the method’s effectiveness. The authors mentioned the meta-analysis that indicated 50 percent of the participants had a complete and successful PSTD therapy that employed EMDR (Garske, 2011).

Article 2

Griffith (2013) confirmed that 92 percent of the respondents in his study found the training as helpful with their resilience competencies. The participants were able to use the skills and capabilities in military and civilian jobs. The study provides evidence for the use of stress inoculation therapy as a way of supporting recovery from PTSD.

Summary of treatment

The study used soldiers as the focus of a study with the stressors of military life and the use of the Master Resilience Training (MRT) course as the conditions considered. The study looked at whether program participants were able to resist or cope with harmful effects and stressful events after the training session. Emphasis was on the self-reported change in resilience competencies and stress-buffering, with results showing that the course was helpful.

Summary of methodology

The researcher aimed to determine whether the training was meeting its objective and formulated a study that uses a survey approach with questionnaires delivered to Army National Guard soldiers online. With a target sample population of 611, the study was able to get a 72 percent completion rate. The questionnaire used in the study was in two parts. Part one had information about the MRT course, such as the time taken to complete, the perceived helpfulness, and the transferability of skills. The second part included individual training experience, with a focus on six core competencies of the resilience training based on the MRT curriculum and automated literature review.

Article 3

In another study, Kok, de Haan, van der Meer, Najavits, and DeJong (2013) give a preliminary report on the efficacy of seeking safety as a treatment for PTSD. Following a Dutch population, they test the treatment of traumatized substance-use people.

Summary of treatment

With 12 group sessions, the researchers sought to evaluate each treatment. They mainly sought to determine how severe substance use was. Besides, the researchers also planned to use secondary outcome measures as PTSD and trauma symptoms. Others were functioning, cognition, and coping skills.

Summary of methodology

The report used a randomized control trial. With the design, the findings would describe the study’s hypothesis, which was that the intervention group to have a significant improvement when compared to the control group. The positive outcomes were expected at the end of treatment and the follow-up stage. The research is still taking place and it seeks to determine how efficacious it is to seek safety than to have CBT. CBT is another treatment offered to PTSD patients. The patients must have experienced a traumatic event and show trauma-related symptoms while meeting the DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence or abuse. Participants for the study are both male and female aged 18 and above, who are fluent in speaking Dutch. Also, participants had active substance use at least 30 days before the study.

Article 4

Gros et al. (2012) conducted a study to show how comorbid disorders can influence the effectiveness of exposure therapy for PTSD. There were notable improvements in PTSD after the study. However, there was no marked improvement in non-overlapping symptoms of depression.

Summary of treatment

Participants had two sessions for behavioral activation and therapeutic exposure. The behavioral activation session also had two sessions and on this aspect of the study, the participants engaged in activities with two main aims. One was situational exposures image exposures.

Summary of methodology

The study was a survey for a controlled population trial. It was part of the prolonged exposure treatment for PSTD. The study used 117 combat veterans who had PTSD, who were taken through eight sessions of behavioral activation (BA) and therapeutic exposure (TE). Recruitment happened through referrals and it was concentrated on the southeastern Veteran Affairs Medical Center, which is considered a central point for participant engagement.

Article 5

Dowd and McGuire (2011) reviewed recent literature as at the time of their study on psychological treatments for childhood PTSD. After the literature review, the researchers concluded that there was strong evidence for TF-CBT applied to patients of different ages and suffering from different traumas.

Summary of treatment

The researchers evaluated the treatment options once. The focus was on the evidence available about the supported usefulness of particular treatments. The treatments observed were Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Treatments (TF-CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and Group-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (GD-CBT).

Summary of methodology

The researchers reviewed the literature on TF-CBT, CBT, GD-CBT, and EMDR did from 2005 to 2010 to show strong support respective methods through a meta-analysis approach. The analysis was based on accepted peer-reviewed findings. The study confirmed the harmful effects of clinical stress debriefing.

Answer to questions

Based on the five scholarly sources that used or reviewed the different treatment options for PTSD, this paper concludes with an argument that CBT is the most effective treatment. The main reason is the support provided by Dowd and McGuire (2011). Besides, the ability to modify CBT to match different groups in individual cases makes it appropriate compared to other treatments. The use of non-empirically validated treatment could be considered in cases where other treatments are not effective or the resources required are unavailable. Even in such cases, there will be a need to explain the potential consequences of the treatment to the patients and require the patients to agree to the treatment. Finally, processing actual trauma with clients ensures that all factors are considered before a particular treatment is chosen.

Rationale for answers

The reason for choosing to process actual trauma with clients is that they are going to bear the emotional burden and they happen to be the closest to the actual danger. Predicting individual reactions to the trauma news and the treatment is difficult because of different expected reactions. Therefore a standard approach is not good; instead, individualized approaches should be encouraged. Trauma often becomes a negative experience in a person’s life; hence the need for involvement of the client.

References

Dowd, H., & McGuire, B. E. (2011). Psychological treatment of PSTD in children: an evidence-based review. The Irish Journal of Psychology, 32(1-2), 25-39.

Garske, G. G. (2011). Military-related PSTD: a focus on the symptomatology and treatment approaches. Journal of Rehabilitation, 77(4), 31-36.

Griffith, J. (2013). Master resilience training and its relationship to individual well-being and stress-buffering among army National Guard soldiers. Journal of Health and Behavioral Health Services & Research, 40(2), 140-155.

Gros, D. F., Price, M., Strachaan, M., Yuen, E. K., Milanak, M. E., & Acierno, R. (2012). Behavioral activation and therapeutic exposure: an investigation of relative symptoms changes in PSTD and depression during the course of integrated behavioral activation, situational exposure, and imaginal exposure techniques. Behavior Modification, 36(4), 580-599.

Hajcak, G., & Starr, L. (2013). . Web.

Kok, T., de Haan, H. A., van der Meer, M., Najavits, L. M., & DeJong, C. A. (2013). BMC Psychiatry, 13(162). Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Mental Health: Research Methodologies Issues." July 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/mental-health-research-methodologies-issues/.

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