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Gaceta Sanitaria

versión impresa ISSN 0213-9111


LEIVA-BIANCHI, Marcelo et al. Effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural therapy for post-disaster distress in post-traumatic stress symptoms after Chilean earthquake and tsunami. Gac Sanit [online]. 2018, vol.32, n.3, pp.291-296.  Epub 07-Dic-2020. ISSN 0213-9111.


This is the first time that the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioural therapy for post-disaster stress (CBT-PD) in symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been tested outside the United States of America.


Quasi-experiment with three groups. In the quasi-control group, complete CBT-PD was applied even though its members did not have PTSD; in quasi-experimental conditions, participants received complete treatment because they had this diagnosis; and in the third group, participants with PTSD received an abbreviated treatment (double sessions) due to organisational requirements.


Primary health care workers in Constitución (Chile), city exposed to earthquake and tsunami; public department workers in Talca (city exposed only to earthquake) and teachers from a school (Constitución).


A total of 13 of the 91 people diagnosed with PTSD participated. In addition, 16 people without diagnosis voluntarily participated. The treatment was completed by 29 participants. There were no dropouts. Only 1 of the 9 participants in the quasi-experimental group did not respond to treatment.


CBT-PD is a group therapy (10-12 sessions) that includes psychoeducation, breathing retraining, behavioural activation and cognitive restructuring. CBT-PD (complete and abbreviated) was applied between September and December 2010.


Short Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Rating Interview (SPRINT-E) was used to measure PTSD symptoms before and after treatment.


The group that received the complete treatment and was diagnosed with PTSD showed a significant decrease in the total symptoms to below dangerous levels (IGAAB: 31.556; p <0.01; 95%CI: 0.21-2.01; η2 = 0.709).


The effectiveness and benefits of incorporating CBT-PD in the health network after events like disasters were discussed.

Palabras clave : Brief psychotherapy; Post-traumatic stress disorder; Evidence-based medicine; Natural disasters.

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