The American Psychiatric Association 2010 Annual Meeting

The American Psychiatric Association held its 2010 annual meeting from May 22 to 26 in New Orleans. The features below highlight some of the news emerging from the meeting. » A Strategy to Improve PTSD Outcomes » Assessing Body Image in Anorexia Nervosa » New Insights on Opioid Dependence » Spotting College Depression With E-Mail » Does Bipolar Disorder Increase Hypertension Risks? A Strategy to Improve PTSD Outcomes The Particulars: Randomized controlled trials have shown that sertraline, an SSRI, and prolonged exposure (PE) are effective treatments for PTSD, but these treatment strategies are very different from each other. With PE, patients are encouraged to directly approach their trauma memories and trauma-related fears. With SSRI use, a level of engagement with trauma-related stimuli is not required. Data Breakdown: In a doubly randomized preference trial, researchers compared SSRI use and PE use and assessed efficacy for chronic PTSD and how patient preference for one strategy over the other may influence the treatment effect. Overall, both PE and SSRI interventions demonstrated good efficacy. Patients who had no choice in their treatment had more diminished effects. Response rates were higher among patients who had a choice (80%) as compared with a 55% rate for patients who were not allowed to choose their treatment. Patients who did not receive their preferred treatment tended to have more severe PTSD, as well as depression and anxiety. Take Home Pearls: Outcomes for patients with PTSD appear to improve when patient preference is taken into account as treatments are prescribed. Treatment with SSRIs and treatment via PE were both effective, but outcomes were optimized among patients who received...