What is the most effective way to relieve symptoms of acute stress disorder?
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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that emphasizes exposure-based treatment is the most effective intervention for adults with acute stress disorder (ASD) (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, meta-analysis of limited-quality randomized controlled trials [RCTs]). Exposure-based therapy reduces symptoms in adults with ASD more than CBT that focuses on cognitive restructuring; both therapies are better than no treatment at all (SOR: B, a limited-quality RCT). Avoid drug treatment within 4 weeks of appearance of symptoms, unless distress is too severe to be managed with psychological treatment alone (SOR: C, consensus guideline).
Journal of Family Practice, 59(8) 2010: 463-464.