From the Editor

How to help those with PTSD? Prolonged exposure therapy (PE) and cognitive processing therapy (CPT) are supported by good evidence but both are resource intense and often have high drop-out rates, partly because of the requirement that patients complete homework. Is there an alternative?

In the first selection, we look at a new study considering written exposure therapy (WET), an emerging therapy where patients write about traumatic events – but the therapy doesn’t demand so much from the system (in terms of resources) or patients (in terms of homework assignments). Denise Sloan (of Boston University) and her colleagues conducted a noninferiority trial, comparing this therapy with prolonged exposure therapy for US veterans with PTSD, involving 178 participants from three centres. “We found WET was noninferior to PE, a treatment that includes more treatment sessions, longer sessions, and between-session assignments.” We consider the study, an Editorial responding to it, and mull the clinical implications.

In the last selection, John W. Ayers (of the University of California San Diego, La Jolla) and his co-authors consider social media and medical education in JAMA. They argue that #MedEd is a dynamic platform with the potential to democratize medical education – but also warn of the problems of misinformation. “The potential for #MedEd to improve medical education and the health sciences is considerable, while the risks of dismissing #MedEd is potentially greater.”


Continue reading