Imagine That! Findings in Hypothetical Trauma Exposure and Treatment Choices Amongst Law Enforcement Officers.

Imagine That! Findings in Hypothetical Trauma Exposure and Treatment Choices Amongst Law Enforcement Officers. A review of:Becker, C. B., Meyer, G., Price, J. S., Graham, M. M., Arsena, A., Armstrong, D.A., Ramon, E. (2009). Law enforcement preferences for PTSD treatment and crisis management alternatives. Behavior Research and Therapy, 47(3), 245-253. by Sarah E. Barwick. Evidence based treatments (EBT), particularly exposure techniques, may be underutilized in the treatment of PTSD due to several patient and therapist factors. For example, a therapist may feel nervous about their lack of training in EBT or may feel distressed over patient discomfort. Research to date has focused primarily on therapist factors that limit the use of EBT, whereas research on patient factors that limit EBT remains limited. Furthermore, previous studies have examined primarily collegiate samples, limiting the generalizibility of the findings. In an attempt to expand on previous research, the current study focused on active and aspiring law enforcement officers, a population of particular interest when examining PTSD. Law enforcement officers are commonly exposed to trauma, and often experience significant symptomology related to this exposure. Participants (N= 379) included 156 active law enforcement officers, 108 police academy cadets, and 99 criminal justice students. Researchers aimed to expand on investigations conducted by Becker et al (2007), which examined PTSD treatment preferences in similar samples. After giving informed consent, participants read a hypothetical traumatic scenario in which they were asked to imagine shooting a 15 year-old suspect in self-defense. The scenario then described an emergence of hypothetical PTSD symptoms following their alleged exposure that interfered with their professional and personal functioning. Following this, participants read through randomly ordered descriptions of treatment options, including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), Exposure therapy, medication treatment (Zoloft), Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy (BEP), and Psychodynamic therapy. Each participant then rated their projected credibility of each treatment, choosing their top and bottom two choices using a modified version of the Credibility Scale (CS; Addis & Carpenter, 1999). An additional evaluation of Critical...

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