The predictive value of interpersonal relationship functioning on PTSD treatment effectiveness in Dutch veterans
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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can severely impact an individual’s life and brings high societal costs. Veterans with combat experiences are among the groups with the highest PTSD prevalence and tend to fare relatively poorly in first-line exposure-based treatments. Interpersonal relationship functioning seems to play a prominent role in the development, maintenance and possible amelioration of PTSD. However, not much is known about its effect on treatment. The present study aims to investigate the predictive value of interpersonal relationship functioning at intake on PTSD treatment effectiveness. Longitudinal data of a group of 56 Dutch veterans diagnosed with PTSD were used. Regression analyses showed no predictive value of interpersonal relationship functioning on treatment effectiveness. Furthermore, the present study found both PTSD symptom reduction and improved quality of life to be valid measurements of treatment effectiveness. However, the range of theoretical and methodological considerations in the present study ask for caution in the interpretation of the current findings. Nonetheless, the theoretical framework delineated in the present study could serve as a basis for future research and a step forward in the optimization of PTSD treatment.