The aims of this pilot study were: (a) to test the feasibility of prolonged exposure (PE) therapy conducted by a social worker staff on female patients in methadone program clinics who were survivors of child sexual abuse or rape and (b) to examine preliminary outcomes of PE on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and illicit drug use at pre- and posttreatment, and up to 12-month follow-ups. Twelve female methadone patients who were survivors of child sexual abuse or rape diagnosed with PTSD were enrolled in 13–19 weekly individual PE sessions. Assessments were conducted at pre-, mid-, and posttreatment, as well as at 3, 6, and 12-month follow-ups. The treatment outcomes measures included PTSD symptoms, depressive symptoms, and illicit drug use. Ten of the 12 study patients completed treatment. PTSD and depressive symptoms showed significant reduction. No relapse to illicit drug use was detected. These preliminary results suggest that PE may be delivered by methadone social workers with successful outcomes. Further research should test the efficacy of PE among methadone patients in a randomized control trial with standard care as the control condition.
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- child sexual abuse
- drug abuse
- evidence-based practice
- methadone maintenance treatment
- pilot study
- posttraumatic stress symptoms
- prolonged exposure (PE) therapy
- social workers