Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery (RESTORE) Trial
Prolonged exposure therapy is best practice treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Prolonged exposure teaches individuals to gradually approach trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations.
Standard prolonged exposure therapy takes 10 weeks to complete. This timeframe is often difficult for current and ex-serving Australian Defence Personnel (ADF) personnel to commit to. Open Arms, in partnership with Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and the Department of Defence, trialled a new intensive form of prolonged exposure consisting of 10 daily sessions over a two-week period.
About the trial
Until now, no rigorous studies had validated whether intensive exposure therapy was as effective as the standard treatment protocol; the RESTORE Trial aimed to validate this by conducting a randomised controlled trial with a sample of current- and ex-serving Australian military personnel. In August 2022, the RESTORE Trial findings were publicly announced by the Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP.
In summary, the intensive treatment option was found to be equally effective in reducing PTSD symptoms as standard prolonged exposure. Across both groups half of the participants lost their PTSD diagnosis, illustrating the effectiveness of prolonged exposure, with treatment gains maintained 12 months following therapy in both its forms.
Current and ex-serving ADF personnel can now access both forms of prolonged exposure therapy through Open Arms counselling services. Implementing this new intensive prolonged exposure treatment option into Open Arms service delivery allows clients to choose a treatment that best suits their lifestyle.
"I got my life back, maybe not the same one that I had before, but it is one that I will cherish and enjoy to the fullest every day that I can." - RESTORE trial participant
To find out more about this new treatment option for PTSD, contact Open Arms on 1800 011 046
Read a summary of findings (PDF 931 KB) or the full report (PDF 1.3MB).