Examination of racial differences in a posttraumatic stress disorder group therapy program for veterans.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is 1 of the more prevalent mental health diagnoses for veterans. Group therapy can be an effective and efficient means of treating PTSD, yet the literature exploring treatment outcomes for racial minorities has been mixed and limited. The present study was an evaluation across racial groups of the PTSD Recovery Program, a manualized group therapy implemented at a Veterans Affairs hospital. Data were collected from male veterans (N = 450) who identified as non-Hispanic White or non-Hispanic African American and participated in a 10-week, combat-related, group therapy program between 2010 and 2014. Participants completed the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist—Military Version (PCL–M) measure at pretreatment and posttreatment. The program led to a statistically significant reduction in PCL–M scores (Cohen’s d = .64). Symptom reduction occurred regardless of race, with no racial differences in improvement. Racial and ethnic composition of groups was not related to outcomes. The program was effective regardless of veteran group or provider. Results imply that the PTSD Recovery Program is an effective 1st-line option to treating non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic African American veterans with PTSD. Future research should continue to explore the associations between group characteristics and treatment outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)