Topic: MDMA-assisted Therapy for PTSD Paper layout: 1st Paragraph: intro 2nd paragraph: background for both articles 3rd: review of the 1st research 4th: review of the 2nd research 5th: compare and contrast 6th: Discussion 7th: conclusion Please Note: The literature review papers for the course are worth 250 points. The paper will be at least […]
The increased prevalence of diverse mental health conditions in society has forced scientists to research interventions that could be used to alleviate emotional and psychological health issues. As a result, different medications have been developed to regulate neurological processes and restore emotional and psychological stability among patients diagnosed with various health conditions. Among the most commonly used interventions to alleviate irregularities in a person’s emotional makeup include the use of MDMA-assisted therapy. The treatment strategy has been implemented to alleviate conditions such as post-traumatic stress conditions and eating disorders. Consequently, scientific studies have investigated the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy in alleviating various mental health disorders among patients. The study titled Relational and growth outcomes following couples therapy with MDMA for PTSD by Wagner et al. (2021) investigates the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy in alleviating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among couples. Another study titled MDMA-assisted therapy significantly reduces eating disorder symptoms in a randomized placebo-controlled trial of adults with severe PTSD conducted by Brewerton et al. (2022) assesses the role of MDMA-assisted therapy in alleviating eating disorders and other depressive symptoms among patients’ post-traumatic stress. This study seeks to compare findings developed in the two studies concerning the use of MDMA-assisted therapy for patients with PTSD. Although the two studies used different population groups and research methods, their findings demonstrate the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy in alleviating symptoms of PTSD.
The study by Wagner et al. (2021) sought to establish a treatment strategy to alleviate traumatic events’ implications on relationships. Impacts of traumatic experiences go beyond the diagnosis of PTSD and often occur in a relational context. Consequently, individuals in romantic relationships experience serious implications when one or both partners experience traumatic events in their lives (Wagner et al., 2021, p. 1). Therefore, Wagner et al. (2021) sought to assess the impact of PTSD on interpersonal and relational aspects of an individual’s life and establish a treatment strategy that could help couples to maintain healthy relationships despite having experienced traumatic events. On the other hand, the study by Brewerton et al. (2022) was motivated by the need to develop a treatment strategy that alleviates the implications of PTSD on a person’s physical well-being. PTSD often presents with eating disorders, significantly increasing a person’s risk of developing other health conditions. Many people who experience traumatic events develop irregular eating habits and appetite, indicating that eating disorders may be symptoms of PTSD. Brewerton et al. (2022) identified the possibility that MDMA-assisted therapy could help to alleviate eating disorders that present as symptoms of PTSD among members of society (Brewerton et al., 2022, p. 128). Therefore, the researchers aimed to assess the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy in alleviating eating disorders and other depressive symptoms of PTSD.
Wagner et al. (2021) conducted a quantitative analysis to determine relational and growth outcomes following couples therapy with MDMA for PTSD. Six couples were randomly selected to participate in the study in which at least one member of each couple had been diagnosed with PTSD and was seeking care within a private practice clinic in Charleston, South Carolina (Wagner et al., 2021, 2). The inclusion criteria for participation included an age limit of 18 years for each member of each couple, no current drug and substance use, and no serious symptoms of aggression. The participants were assessed before and after receiving MDMA-assisted therapy, followed by a 3 and 6-month follow-up. The Revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS-2) records both quantitative and qualitative data concerning the severity of depressive symptoms among the participants reported to have PTSD. The data analysis procedure involved using statistical software to develop a growth curve indicating how the participants responded to treatment. A Chi-square test was also performed to compare observed results with the research hypothesis. Such a test procedure allows researchers to assess the strength of relationships between dependent and independent variables to determine the overall reliability of findings developed during a study (Shi et al., 2018, p. 924). However, the strategy excluded non-numerical data that might have significantly affected the findings developed in the study. Therefore, the researcher ought to have considered the potential effect of non-numerical data on the overall reliability of findings developed in the research.
Brewerton et al. (2022) performed qualitative data analysis to determine the role of MDMA-assisted therapy in alleviating eating disorders among PTSD patients. Individuals who participated in the study were recruited through referrals, advertisements, and word of mouth. They were required to possess certain attributes, including 18 years of age, and meet DSM-5 criteria for current PTSD with a symptom duration of more than 6 months. They signed consent to comply with lifestyle modifications such as discontinuation of psychiatric medications (Brewerton et al., 2022, p. 129). However, the use of referrals as a strategy to select participants might have attracted a sampling bias and margin of error (Bhardwaj, 2019, p. 157). The data collection strategy involved a severity score for each patient’s symptoms before and after the administration of MDMA-assisted therapy. Demographic variables were also collected, including the participants’ age, gender, ethnicity, level of education, trauma history, and body mass index. A descriptive analysis of demographic, baseline, and outcome variable data was performed to provide insight into the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy. A T-test was performed to establish the overall reliability of the findings developed in the study. Such a test procedure allows the researcher to compare average values of more than one data sets to establish any inconsistencies that could indicate a possibility for biased conclusions (Kim & Park, 2019, p. 331). Cumulative frequency analysis of data was performed to establish any association between various demographic attributes of the participants and positive outcomes after the administration of MDMA-assisted therapy. Such an analysis procedure allowed the researchers to establish the potential influence of the demographic characteristics of the participants on conclusions.
The two studies focus on different social and health implications of PTSD. The study by Wagner et al. (2021) identifies the long-term effects of traumatic events on an individual’s capacity to associate with others. As a result, the study adopted a research design that assessed the nature of relationships that the participants had before and after the administration of MDMA-assisted therapy to individuals with symptoms of PTSD. Key variables studied during the research process included relationship aggression, post-traumatic growth, behavioural accommodation, and social functioning outcomes (Wagner et al., 2021, 4). Therefore, the study mainly focused on assessing the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy in improving the participants’ capacity to relate socially with others. On the other hand, Brewerton et al. (2022) focused on the psychological and physiological benefits associated with the administration of MDMA-assisted therapy to patients with PTSD-triggered eating disorders. Key variables assessed during the study included the participants’ pe-exposure to PTSD, demographic attributes, and psychological and physiological characteristics before and after the administration of MDMA-assisted therapy. Therefore, the two studies focused on different aspects of PTSD.
Although the two studies utilized dissimilar research strategies, their findings indicate the role of MDMA-assisted therapy in alleviating symptoms of PTSD. Wagner et al. (2021) found that the couples who participated in the study experienced significant gains in terms of their relational functioning, post-traumatic growth, and behavioural accommodation (Wagner et al., 2021, 5). Findings from the study also indicated that participants who exhibited depressive symptoms of PTSD before the study gained the adequate capacity to maintain strong interpersonal and psychosocial functioning, which indicates that a combination of cognitive-behavioural therapy with MDMA for PTSD improves an individual’s capacity to relate with other people. Similarly, Brewerton et al. (2022) concluded that MDMA-assisted therapy helps to alleviate eating disorders among individuals with PTSD. The study found that MDMA-assisted therapy significantly reduces symptoms of PTSD compared to placebo-assisted therapy (Brewerton et al., 2022, p. 133). Based on findings developed in the two studies, MDMA-assisted therapy could be adopted as the ultimate treatment for patients presenting with symptoms of PTSD. However, the two studies did not analyze some critical aspects of PTSD among the participants. For instance, Brewerton et al. (2022) failed to study eating disorders as a syndrome independent of PTSD exclusively. Also, Wagner et al. (2021) failed to assess the possibility of PTSD symptoms that result from incompatibility among couples. Therefore, future studies ought to include such elements to present realistic conclusions concerning the role of MDMA-assisted therapy in alleviating PTSD symptoms.
The two studies used different population groups and research methods to demonstrate the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy in alleviating symptoms of PTSD. Wagner et al. (2021) conducted a quantitative analysis to determine relational and growth outcomes following couples therapy with MDMA for PTSD. On the other hand, Brewerton et al. (2022) performed a qualitative analysis of data to determine the role of MDMA-assisted therapy in alleviating eating disorders among PTSD patients. Despite their focus on different population groups and the use of diverse strategies throughout the research process, both studies reveal the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy as a strategy to alleviate symptoms of PTSD among patients in the clinical setting.
Wagner, A. C., Liebman, R. E., Mithoefer, A. T., Mithoefer, M. C., & Monson, C. M. (2021). Relational and growth outcomes following couples therapy with MDMA for PTSD. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12.
Brewerton, T. D., Wang, J. B., Lafrance, A., Pamplin, C., Mithoefer, M., Yazar-Klosinki, B., Emerson, A., & Doblin, R. (2022). MDMA-assisted therapy significantly reduces eating disorder symptoms in a randomized placebo-controlled trial of adults with severe PTSD. Journal of Psychiatric Research.
Shi, D., DiStefano, C., McDaniel, H. L., & Jiang, Z. (2018). Examining chi-square test statistics under conditions of large model size and ordinal data. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 25(6), 924-945. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10705511.2018.1449653
Bhardwaj, P. (2019). Types of sampling in research. Journal of the Practice of Cardiovascular Sciences, 5(3), 157. https://www.j-pcs.org/article.asp?issn=2395-5414;year=2019;volume=5;issue=3;spage=157;epage=163;aulast=Bhardwaj
Kim, T. K., & Park, J. H. (2019). More about the basic assumptions of t-test: normality and sample size. Korean journal of anesthesiology, 72(4), 331. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc6676026/
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Published On: 01-01-1970