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Oxytocin and Other Pharmacologic Preventive Interventions for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Not a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

      One of the key challenges facing trauma researchers and clinicians is how to identify and appropriately intervene with recent trauma victims who are likely to suffer from persistent posttraumatic distress. This is particularly challenging given that although the experience of trauma is relatively common, only a minority of trauma victims develop persistent distress and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychological debriefing interventions are ineffective at preventing PTSD and, in some cases, are detrimental (
      • Qi W.
      • Gevonden M.
      • Shalev A.
      Prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder after trauma: Current evidence and future directions.
      ). Early cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure-based interventions have shown some promise, while delaying psychological interventions at least 2 weeks after the traumatic event and targeting symptomatic individuals has produced more consistently efficacious results. However, these interventions are time and labor intensive and require contacting, assessing, and recruiting at-risk trauma victims when they are typically no longer involved with the medical system.
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