Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Acute Stress Disorder (CBT for ASD)

Note: The CBT for ASD program was not responsive to the CEBC's inquiry. The following information was obtained from publicly available sources.

Scientific Rating:
2
Supported by Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
Medium
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Acute Stress Disorder (CBT for ASD) has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Trauma Treatment (Adult).

Target Population: Adults who experienced a trauma less than 4 weeks ago and are experiencing acute stress disorder

Brief Description

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Acute Stress Disorder is a form of therapy used in the early stages of traumatic response. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps people with acute stress disorder change their way of thinking about the traumatic event and alter their behaviors in anxiety-provoking situations. Like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder may develop in an individual who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Unlike PTSD, however, the anxiety which accompanies acute stress disorder lasts for a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 4 weeks. If symptoms persist for longer than 4 weeks, or begin more than a month after the trauma was initially experienced or witnessed, a diagnosis of PTSD may be appropriate.

Education and Training Resources

Publicly available information indicates there is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is some training available for this program.
See contact info below.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program is rated a "2 - Supported by Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The program must have at least one rigorous randomized controlled trial with a sustained effect of at least 6 months. The article(s) below that reports outcomes from an RCT showing a sustained effect of at least 6 months has an asterisk (*) at the beginning of its entry. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Show relevant research...

*Bryant, R. A., Harvey, A. G., Sackville, T., Dang, S., & Basten, C. (1998). Treatment of acute stress disorder: A comparison of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and supportive counseling. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 862–866.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 24

Population:

  • Age — 18-60 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were civilians that suffer from PTSD who were in an inpatient hospital.

Location/Institution: Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study examined the benefit of early provision of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to trauma survivors with acute stress disorder (ASD). Subjects were given 5 sessions of either Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Acute Stress Disorder (CBT for ASD) or supportive counseling (SC) within 2 weeks of their trauma. Measures included the Acute Stress Disorder Interview (ASDI), Impact of Event Scale (IBS), and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Fewer participants in CBT for ASD (8%) than in SC (83%) met criteria for PTSD at posttreatment. There were also fewer cases of PTSD in the CBT for ASD condition (17%) than in the SC condition (67%) six months post trauma. There were greater statistically and clinically significant reductions in intrusive, avoidance, and depressive symptomatology among the CBT for ASD participants than among the SC participants. Limitations included the small sample size.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

*Bryant, R. A., Sackville, T., Dang, S. T., Moulds, M., & Guthrie, R. (1999). Treating acute stress disorder: An evaluation of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and supporting counseling techniques. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156(11), 1780-1786.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 45

Population:

  • Age — 18-60 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — 23 Women & 22 Men
  • Status — Participants were survivors of either motor vehicle accidents or nonsexual assault who were referred to an inpatient mental hospital.

Location/Institution: Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study aimed to prevent PTSD by an early provision of Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. Specifically, this study indexed the relative efficacy of prolonged exposure and anxiety management in the treatment of acute stress disorder (ASD). Civilian trauma survivors with acute stress disorder were given five sessions of 1) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which included prolonged exposure and anxiety management, 2) prolonged exposure (PE) on its own; or 3) supportive counseling (SC) within 2 weeks of their trauma. Measures utilized include the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, the Acute Stress Disorder Interview (ASDI), the Impact of Event Scale (IES), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Results indicate fewer patients with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Acute Stress Disorder or PE than supportive counseling met the criteria for PTSD after treatment. Limitations include results are applicable only to motor vehicle accident and nonsexual assault victims and should not be generalized to other trauma populations, small sample size, and measures not utilized across all assessments.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Bryant, R. A., Moulds, M. L., & Nixon, R. V. D. (2003). Cognitive Behaviour Therapy of Acute Stress Disorder: A four-year follow-up. Behaviour Research & Therapy, 41(4), 489-494.

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 80

Population:

  • Age — 18-60 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were civilians that suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who were in an inpatient hospital.

Location/Institution: Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
Note: This study includes subjects from Bryant, R. A., Sackville, T., Dang, S. T., Moulds, M., & Guthrie, R. (1999) and Bryant, R. A., Harvey, A. G., Sackville, T., Dang, S., & Basten, C. (1998). The aim of this study was to index the long-term benefits of early provision of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) to trauma survivors with acute stress disorder. Civilian trauma survivors with acute stress disorder (ASD) were allocated to either Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Acute Stress Disorder (CBT for ASD) or supportive counseling (SC). Measures utilized include the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, the Acute Stress Disorder Interview (ASDI), the Impact of Event Scale (IES), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Results indicated patients who received CBT for ASD reported less intense PTSD symptoms, and particularly less frequent and less avoidance symptoms, than patients who received SC. Limitations include that the retention rate at four years was only 64% of treatment completers and may not accurately reflect functioning of all patients who completed treatment, small sample size, and comparable measures were not conducted for each treatment study.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 month and 4 years.

References

No reference materials are currently available for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Acute Stress Disorder (CBT for ASD).

Contact Information

Name: Richard Bryant, PhD
Website: www.traumaticstressclinic.com.au
Email:
Phone: (029) 385-3640
Fax: (029) 385-3641

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: July 2013

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: July 2013