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Research on PTSD uses organized, scientific methods to improve lives by:
Understanding the problem and its effects on health, relationships, and functioning
Developing and testing treatments to ease or fix the problem
Finding ways to prevent the problem in the first place
We are learning more and more about the causes of PTSD and other reactions to trauma thanks to both Veteran and civilian research participants. And, we are using this understanding to develop new and better ways to treat and prevent PTSD.
Learning from research
Here are a few examples of things we have learned about trauma and PTSD from research thus far:
People experience a range of reactions following trauma. Most people recover fine, given a little time. However, a small but noteworthy number go on to develop more serious, chronic problems, like PTSD.
Trauma is common. About six of every 10 US adults experience at least one trauma in their life.
Certain treatments for PTSD have been found to work better than others. These treatments substantially reduce symptoms and can allow you to enjoy activities again.
Research findings show that several types of therapy and medication can effectively treat PTSD. The educational materials on this Web site are based on the latest research on trauma and PTSD.
Types of research
There are many types of research on trauma and PTSD including:
Research on basic biological processes that helps us understand how PTSD affects the brain and general health. It also helps identify medications that are effective with PTSD.
Research on PTSD assessment provides the tools we use to measure PTSD in ways that are valid and scientifically accurate.
Research also helps us to understand which PTSD treatments work best and factors that influence how they work.