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The RESTORE Trial

Do you believe you may have developed PTSD during or after your military service?

If so, you may be eligible to participate in a new clinical treatment trial known as the RESTORE Trial - Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery.

The RESTORE Trial is investigating one of the most effective treatments for PTSD - known as Prolonged Exposure (PE). Prolonged Exposure therapy is a gold standard evidence-based treatment best described as a type of trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy.

Prolonged Exposure assists you to:

  • Deal with traumatic memories in a gradual, safe and supportive manner - a process known as imaginal exposure;
  • Reclaim your life by gradually and slowly learning to confront the places and activities that are being avoided - a process known as in vivo exposure; and
  • Address unhelpful thoughts and interpretations of the traumatic event, yourself, others and the world - a process known as cognitive therapy.

The aim of PE therapy is to reduce the distress associated with reminders of the traumatic event and improve quality of life.

What does RESTORE involve?

In its current form PE requires weekly treatment for 10 weeks. However, this period of time can be difficult for current serving ADF personnel to commit to.

The RESTORE Trial is investigating whether an intensive delivery of Prolonged Exposure therapy, involving 10 sessions over a two week period, will deliver outcomes which are comparable to standard Prolonged Exposure treatment for PTSD that is delivered via weekly sessions over a 10 week period.

You will be randomly allocated to one of the two treatment conditions - intensive or standard Prolonged Exposure. Commitment is required to attend all sessions which are 90 minutes duration. There will be homework activities to complete in between sessions and in both conditions, high quality treatment will be delivered by experienced clinicians.

There is no cost for the treatment you receive in the trial. Your Commanding Officer will be advised by your Medical Officer of your participation in the trial.

How can family help a member going through RESTORE?

As the family of an ADF member participating in the trial, it is important to understand that they will find talking about their trauma and working in therapy to process their painful experiences to be difficult. You can expect that they will feel distressed during sessions and during or after their homework assignments. At times they may present as irritable or anxious, have trouble sleeping, or appear depressed. This is generally temporary and as treatment progresses, these symptoms are expected to improve. Please understand that they will be provided with skills to manage their distress and closely monitored by the trial clinicians and their Defence Medical Officer.

You can support your family member through the RESTORE Trial by giving them the time, encouragement and privacy to attend sessions and complete their homework. Understanding the impact of the treatment and what that means for their capacity to participate in normal family life is important in the short and long term. Recovery from PTSD symptoms can be a slow and gradual process and having realistic expectations for the member and their family is in the best interests of the member’s recovery.

A fact sheet about the trial for ADF families can be found at the following link: RESTORE Trial Fact Sheet [PDF]

RESTORE Trial sites

The trial is being conducted from four sites nationally; the offices of the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) in Brisbane and Sydney, the ADF Centre for Mental Health in Sydney, and Phoenix Australia in Melbourne.

If you would like to participate, please speak to your local Medical Officer who can facilitate a referral to the trial intake process.

More Information

More information about the trial can be found at the following link: http://phoenixaustralia.org/expertise/research/current-treatment-trials/restore/.