Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Smith, Laurie/Barragan, Armando



Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health diagnosis that occurs following a traumatic event, and military veterans are at higher risk of exposure to hazardous or life-threatening situations that may result in psychological trauma. PTSD sufferers experience symptoms such as distressing memories, nightmares, flashbacks, hypervigilance, and heightened arousal. Individuals with PTSD also experience higher rates of depressive and substance use disorders, involvement with the justice system, and self-harm and suicide. Many agencies, such as the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) provide treatment PTSD, however most programs experience dropout rates as high as 36%. Recent studies have shown that intensive, short-term, evidence-based treatment is both a desired option, and one that exhibits success rates of nearly 92%. What had not yet been documented at the time of this writing was the long-term efficacy of these programs. Through use of online survey distribution and collection and data analysis, the authors were able to preliminarily demonstrate that both treatment modalities demonstrate very similar symptom reduction. This data, coupled with the aforementioned higher completion rate of short-term treatment would indicate that this newer treatment model is the more effective option. The authors also make recommendations to future researchers and describe the potential impact of this research on the social work profession.