PTSD-Repository Updates in 2021
In June 2020, the National Center for PTSD launched the PTSD-Repository, a web-based platform that hosts data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of PTSD treatment. RCTs are studies that assign the participants in the study to treatments randomly--by chance--to isolate the impact of treatment. They are the gold standard design for studying treatment safety and efficacy.
We created the PTSD-Repository to help people understand what is known about PTSD treatment. Researchers and clinicians have long relied on published meta-analyses and literature reviews to get an understanding of effective treatments. These sources are useful, but they can quickly become outdated and none include all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of PTSD treatment. There hasn’t been a single, comprehensive source of information that can answer questions about all types of interventions or other study details that might matter to researchers or clinicians. The PTSD-Repository was designed to address these drawbacks.
The information in the PTSD-Repository is wide in scope and rich in detail, including hundreds of variables extracted from RCTs. The intended audience is also broad: anyone with an interest in PTSD treatment, including Veterans, the general public, clinicians, researchers, educators, policymakers and the media will find useful information here. We offer a more detailed overview in About the PTSD-Repository.
What's New in the 2021 Update?
We will continue to update the PTSD-Repository annually. The 2021 update includes new variables and new studies, now totaling 389 RCTs of the treatment of PTSD in adults. Included studies were published between January 1988 and May 2020.
There are several new features available including:
- RCTs of Co-occurring PTSD and Substance Use Disorder: The PTSD-Repository now includes studies that intentionally target both PTSD and substance use, conditions that often co-occur. Within the datasets, users can choose to look at all the studies, focus specifically on the studies of PTSD treatment alone, or just look at the PTSD plus substance use studies. Read our data story Treatments for Co-occurring PTSD and Substance Use Disorder for more information.
- Risk of Bias Ratings: Each study in the PTSD-Repository is now coded for risk of bias in specific domains as well as an overall risk of bias for the study. Risk of bias ratings help us understand potential flaws in a study that may influence the findings. Learn more in our story, Risk of Bias Assessment in the PTSD-Repository.
- Expanded Data on PTSD Outcomes: At initial launch, the platform only included data on the primary PTSD outcome measure. With the 2021 update, the PTSD-Repository now includes data on all PTSD measures included in a study.
- Data on Suicide: The PTSD-Repository now includes information, when provided in the RCT, on whether participants included each study had any suicidal behaviors or intent (found in the Sample Characteristics dataset) as well as on suicide-related outcomes (found in 4 suicide outcomes datasets). Learn more about the suicide-related datasets in How the Data Were Organized.
- Data on Harms: A new Harms dataset includes information on serious adverse events and participant withdrawals from the studies due to adverse events.
Using the PTSD-Repository
Our platform allows users to access information in a variety of ways. At the most basic level users can read data stories or interact with the visualizations we’ve created on important topics. Visualizations--like those below--allow us to convey comprehensive information about who and what was studied.
The first figure shows the number of studies in the PTSD-Repository by the type of treatment. Studies in the PTSD-Repository were categorized into 7 types of treatments: psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, complementary and integrative health (CIH), nonpharmacologic biological, nonpharmacologic cognitive, collaborative care, and other treatments. As shown here, half of the studies in the PTSD-Repository are psychotherapy studies (n=192, 49%). There are fewer, but still many, pharmacotherapy studies (n = 88, 23%).
As noted above, the PTSD-Repository now identifies studies by treatment focus as PTSD or PTSD and SUD. This chart shows that 6% (n=23) of RCTs are focused on treatment for co-occurring PTSD and SUD. If you interact with the chart by choosing either PTSD or PTSD+SUD, you can see the type of treatments tested in each category.
Registered users can also create custom visualizations such as charts, graphs, maps and other ways to “see” data. These visualizations can be saved and shared with others. Finally, users can download the data for exploration and data analysis. Our Getting Started with the PTSD-Repository story is a good place to start.
The National Center for PTSD
The mission of the National Center for PTSD is to advance the clinical care and social welfare of America's Veterans and others who have experienced trauma, or who suffer from PTSD. Our priorities are on research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders.
For additional information and resources about PTSD symptoms, causes, and treatment for Veterans, family members and providers please visit our website. Links to some of our most popular resources are below, others are included within our data stories in the PTSD-Repository.
This website aims to help Veterans and others recognize PTSD in themselves or others, reduce barriers to care, and motivate them to seek treatment. AboutFace includes videos of Veterans of multiple service eras speaking about their experiences with PTSD and treatment. By watching the videos on AboutFace, you can learn about PTSD, explore treatment options, and get advice from others who have been there.
This online tool is designed to help people diagnosed with PTSD learn about and compare effective treatment options that might be best for them. Users can watch videos that explain how different treatments work and print a comparison chart to share with their provider as they work together to make care decisions. A companion Clinician’s Guide helps providers best use the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid with patients.
The PTSD Consultation Program offers consultation, continuing education, and other resources to healthcare providers who treat Veterans with PTSD in the community or in VA. Consultation is free and is consistent with evidence-based practices for PTSD and consensus statements such as the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD.
Formerly the Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress (PILOTS) Database, PTSDpubs is an electronic index to the worldwide literature on PTSD and other mental health consequences of exposure to traumatic events. Users can search for and download the full text of articles written by National Center staff members.