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Consensus Statement on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder From the International Consensus Group on Depression and Anxiety

James C. Ballenger, MD; Jonathan R. T. Davidson, MD; Yves Lecrubier, MD; David J. Nutt, DM, MRCP, FRCPsych (International Consensus Group on Depression and Anxiety); Edna B. Foa, PhD; Ronald C. Kessler, PhD; Alexander C. McFarlane, MD; and Arieh Y. Shalev, MD

Published: May 31, 2000

Article Abstract

Objective: To provide primary care clinicians with a better understanding of management issues in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and guide clinical practice with recommendations on the appropriatemanagement strategy. Participants: The 4 members of the International Consensus Group onDepression and Anxiety were James C. Ballenger (chair), Jonathan R. T. Davidson, Yves Lecrubier,and David J. Nutt. Other faculty invited by the chair were Edna B. Foa, Ronald C. Kessler, AlexanderC. McFarlane, and Arieh Y. Shalev. Evidence: The consensus statement is based on the 6 review articles that are published in this supplement and the scientific literature relevant to the issues reviewedin these articles. Consensus process: Group meetings were held over a 2-day period. On day 1, the group discussed the review articles and the chair identified key issues for further debate. On day 2, thegroup discussed these issues to arrive at a consensus view. After the group meetings, the consensusstatement was drafted by the chair and approved by all attendees. Conclusion: PTSD is often achronic and recurring condition associated with an increased risk of developing secondary comorbiddisorders, such as depression. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are generally the most appropriatechoice of first-line medication for PTSD, and effective therapy should be continued for 12 monthsor longer. The most appropriate psychotherapy is exposure therapy, and it should be continued for 6months, with follow-up therapy as needed.

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