4 Research recommendations

The following research recommendations have been identified for this NICE guideline.

1. Guided self-help

A randomised controlled trial, using newly developed guided self-help (GSH) materials based on trauma-focused psychological interventions, should be conducted to assess the efficacy and cost effectiveness of guided self-help compared with trauma-focused psychological interventions for mild and moderate PTSD.

2. Children and young people

Randomised controlled trials for children of all ages should be conducted to assess the efficacy and cost effectiveness of trauma-focused psychological treatments (specifically CBT and EMDR). These trials should identify the relative efficacy of different trauma-focused psychological interventions and provide information on the differential effects, if any, arising from the age of the children or the nature of the trauma experienced.

3. Trauma-focused psychological interventions in adults

Adequately powered effectiveness trials of trauma-focused psychological interventions for the treatment of PTSD (TF-CBT and EMDR) should be conducted. They should provide evidence on the comparative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of these interventions and consider the format of treatment (type and duration) and the specific populations who may benefit.

4. Screening programme

An appropriately designed longitudinal study should be conducted to determine if a simple screening instrument, which is acceptable to those receiving it, can identify individuals who develop PTSD after traumatic events and can be used as part of a screening programme to ensure individuals with PTSD receive effective interventions.

5. Trauma-focused psychological treatment versus pharmacological treatment

Adequately powered, appropriately designed trials should be conducted to determine if trauma-focused psychological treatments are superior in terms of efficacy and cost effectiveness to pharmacological treatments in the treatment of PTSD and whether they are efficacious and cost effective in combination.