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Flinders researchers will trial a more accessible and flexible treatment program for people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Flinders University Professor in Psychology Reg Nixon will test a ‘staged method’ of treatment by initially offering psychological therapy, with the help of a therapist, online or via tele-health over a six-week period. At the end of the six-week program, clients who have not made significant gains will be offered intensive individual sessions weekly. 

PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by either experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. 

The trial, which is funded by a Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation Health Seed Grant, is a shake-up from traditional therapy, which typically involves weekly face-to-face therapy over 8-16 weeks.

Prof Nixon says improving access to good PTSD treatment will break down significant barriers for sufferers who don’t have expert help locally or can’t easily attend weekly appointments for face-to-face help.  

The new model may also better suit the needs of some sufferers, by offering more flexible therapy for those who need less intensive help, while still being effective in treating PTSD and its symptoms.

The trial will begin in March with results evaluated late in 2019.

Project Lead: Professor Reg Nixon 

Project Title: Stepped-care for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A feasibility and open trial pilot study

This research is made possible thanks to generous donations from the community, fundraisers and corporate partners.

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