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Mental health
Exposure-based cognitive behavioural therapy is effective in reducing post-traumatic stress disorder severity in emergency service personnel
  1. Úna Kerin
  1. Department of Adult Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Birmingham City University
  1. Correspondence to Úna Kerin, Department of Adult Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, B15 3TN, UK; una.kerin{at}

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Commentary on: Bryant RA, Kenny L, Rawson N et al. Efficacy of exposure-based cognitive behaviour therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder in emergency service personnel: a randomised clinical trial. Psychol Med 2018:1–9. doi: 10.1017/S0033291718002234.

Implications for practice and research

  • Preliminary evidence suggests that ‘brief’ and ‘prolonged’ exposure-based therapy yield similar reductions in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in emergency service personnel.

  • Future research should include female participants, conduct a comparative cost analysis and power studies to account for the often high attrition rate encountered in studies investigating psychiatric interventions.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition which can occur with traumatic exposure.1 Occupational predilection to trauma places emergency service personnel at risk. Trauma-focused exposure-based therapy (EBT) is understood to improve PTSD symptoms.2 Contemporary research investigates the efficacy of ‘prolonged’ and ‘brief’ EBT within specific PTSD populations.3 Extant research …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.