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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Post-traumatic stress disorder-Treatment, Acceptance and commitment therapy, Psychotherapy-Outcome assessment, Depression, Mental-Treatment, Adaptability (Psychology), Quality of life, PTSD, Depression, Psychological flexibility, Somatization, Somatization disorder-Treatment, Effectiveness study, Combat-Psychological aspects, Combat-related PTSD, Interpersonal sensitivity


This study explored the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the specialized inpatient posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) unit in Northampton VA. This study collected data from 108 male veterans who enrolled in the program in cohorts of 16 to 24 and completed the six-week inpatient treatment. Treatment was administered primarily in a group format with an emphasis in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). We administered a battery of self-report measures to assess patient's levels of PTSD and its comorbid conditions such as depression, anger, somatization, interpersonal sensitivity, quality of life and psychological inflexibility. We found that there was a statistically significant improvement across all measures except for anger. Yet, we found that the program produced no more change in PTSD symptoms than the participants achieved while waiting to enter the program. Interpersonal sensitivity was the only measure to show clinically significant change from pre-post treatment. After controlling for pre-treatment status, we found many partial correlations of outcome including: expectancy to improve, novelty of treatment, predilection for ACT, and predilection for psychodynamic therapy. After conducting stepwise regressions controlling for expectancy, the only significant predictor that remained was novelty and it only predicted improvement in depression and interpersonal sensitivity. These findings suggest that this program may be moderately effective in treating some comorbid conditions such as depression and interpersonal sensitivity, but does not serve as an effective treatment for PTSD.




68 pages. Honors project-Smith College, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 43-58)