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Recovery Processes for PTSD and Alcohol Use Following Sexual Assault

Recovery Processes for PTSD and Alcohol Use Following Sexual Assault

Following a sexual assault, individuals may develop chronic problems including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and frequent or problematic alcohol use. Intervention provided soon after an assault can decrease the risk of developing these problems long-term. We are recruiting female-identifying individuals, ages 18-65, living in Washington state, who have experienced a sexual assault and increased drinking in the past year. This study includes an initial study evaluation, assessment, up to 12 no-cost treatment sessions, three post-treatment assessments across four months, and up to $277 in gift cards for compensation.

Participant Eligibility

Inclusion Criteria:

-Identifies as female.
-Between the age of 18 and 65.
-Reports a sexual assault in the last 4 weeks to 1 year.
-Current PTSD severity of 23+ on the PSS-I-5.
-Current heavy alcohol use (2+ heavy episodic drinking occasions [4+ drinks on one occasion] in the past month).
-Access to the internet and a device with a webcam.

Exclusion Criteria:

-Current diagnosis of schizophrenia, delusional disorder, or organic mental disorder as defined by the DSM-5.
-Current diagnosis of bipolar disorder, depression with psychotic features, or depression severe enough to require immediate psychiatric treatment (i.e., serious suicide risk with intent and plan).
-Unwilling or unable to discontinue current trauma-focused psychotherapy or current substance use psychotherapy.
-Unstable dose of psychotropic medications in the prior 3 months.
-Ongoing intimate relationship with the perpetrator of most recent assault.
-Current diagnosis of a severe substance use disorder according to DSM-5, other than alcohol in the last month.
-No clear trauma memory.
-Current higher dose use of benzodiazepines (greater than the equivalent of 4 mg of lorazepam, 2 mg alprazolam, 1.5 mg clonazepam, or 20 mg of diazepam).


Project SARAH Research Coordinator
(206) 685-3617

Additional Study Details

Full Study Title
Understanding and Testing Recovery Processes for PTSD and Alcohol Use Following Sexual Assault

Study ID: STUDY00008021
Start Date: 06/02/2021
End Date: 06/01/2024

Dr. Michele Bedard-Gilligan
Dr. Lori Zoellner
Dr. Jennifer Cadigan
Dr. Debra Kaysen
Dr. Cynthia Stappenbeck

Accepts Healthy Volunteers?

Study Site(s)

University of Washington

1400 NE Campus Parkway Department of Psychology
Seattle, Washington 98195


Use the link below to send a message to the study coordinator, or call the number above to speak directly with a study representative.

I am interested in this research study.