Cochrane Summaries

Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

Psychological debriefing for preventing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Rose SC, Bisson J, Churchill R, Wessely S
Published Online: 
21 January 2009

This review concerns the efficacy of single session psychological "debriefing" in reducing psychological distress and preventing the development of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after traumatic events. Psychological debriefing is either equivalent to, or worse than, control or educational interventions in preventing or reducing the severity of PTSD, depression, anxiety and general psychological morbidity. There is some suggestion that it may increase the risk of PTSD and depression. The routine use of single session debriefing given to non selected trauma victims is not supported. No evidence has been found that this procedure is effective.