Availability of Evidence-Based Treatments for PTSD in Civilian Institutional and Private Practice Settings: A Case Study in Asheville, NC

Cheyenne Quindara, Hannah Brown


Psychological trauma is a common experience for many individuals at some point in their lifetime.  Recent studies find that 80-90% individuals will experience at least one traumatic event and 5-10% of the population will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in their lifetime. With PTSD occurring to almost 1 in 10 individuals, it is clear that access to treatment should be readily available, including in civilian settings. Unfortunately, the availability of quality treatment for civilian PTSD varies widely, with geographic area being one important factor for access. Psychotherapy is a common mode of PTSD treatment, and multiple psychotherapy treatments have been designated as evidenced-based treatments (EBTs) for PTSD. To investigate the availability of psychotherapy EBTs for PTSD in a specific location, Asheville, N.C., the current study  completed a survey of PTSD psychotherapy services. Asheville is a smaller city in a mountainous region of Western North Carolina. The sample drew upon private practice providers from the Psychology Today website (n=199) and a survey of local institutional/agency contexts. Although the sample is not fully representative of PTSD providers in Asheville, the database of providers is reasonably comprehensive. This study had two hypotheses. First, it was hypothesized that the survey will find gaps in the availability of EBTs for PTSD in both private practice settings and institutions in the area. Second, it was hypothesized the survey will indicate many private practice settings and institutions/agencies will offer non-EBT services for PTSD, i.e., services that do not have an evidence-basis for treatment PTSD. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate these hypotheses. The results for institutions/agencies show a gap in EBTs. Many private providers claimed EBT, but these claims appear problematic. It seems that there is good evidence for a large amount of non-ebt services being provided related to ptsd.The results suggest there is a lack of access to high quality care for PTSD in a single urban, mountain context.


Evidence-Based Treatments, PTSD, North Carolina

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