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A randomized control trial of a novel approach to cognitive training in public safety personnel with post-traumatic stress injuries

Keywords: cognitive performance, Goal Management Therapy, PTSI

Summary

Research has shown that public safety personnel (PSP) are more likely than the general population to experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can lead to changes in cognitive performance. For example, some subjects experiencing PTSD also deal with poorer memory and attention.

Expanding on the research performed in their earlier catalyst grant project, the team will continue to explore the effectiveness of Goal Management Therapy in PSP with PTSI. They will expand the study by adding brain structure and functioning MRI testing before therapy, immediately after therapy, and follow up three months after therapy.

Future directions

Once the study is complete, the research team will work with the Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) to disseminate the findings so that this treatment option can be made available to PSP throughout Canada.

Principal Researchers

Margaret McKinnon, Associate Chair of Research and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology & Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University; Kimberley Slade, Director of emerging markets and commercialization at PSHSA; Ruth Lanius, Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research unit at the University of Western Ontario.

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