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Faculty Publication: Social Work Instructor Scott Giacomucci, M.S.S. '15

October 14, 2022

A Mixed-Methods Study on Psychodrama Treatment for PTSD and Depression in Inpatient Substance Use Treatment: A Comparison of Outcomes Pre-Pandemic and During Covid-19

Authors: Scott Giacomucci, Joshua Marquit, Katharine Miller Walsh, Rachel Saccarelli

Source: Arts in Psychotherapy Journal, DOI: 10.1016/j.aip.2022.101971, Oct. 2022

Type of Publication: Article

Abstract: This mixed-methods research study (n = 68) examines the effectiveness of psychodrama as a treatment for depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center. The primary goal of this study was to examine treatment effectiveness, however the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic occurred during data collection which provided us with an opportunity to compare psychodrama’s effectiveness pre-pandemic and during-pandemic with masks and social distancing. Results suggest psychodrama psychotherapy effectively decreases depression symptoms and PTSD symptoms while supporting participants recovery from addiction. Treatment effects were similar between the pre-pandemic cohort and the cohort during the pandemic. Participants in the psychodrama groups experienced more significant decreases in depression than patients in the inpatient program who did not participate in the psychodrama group. Findings also demonstrate clinically meaningful changes in PTSD which is also supported by qualitative survey responses. Furthermore, this study appears to be the first supporting the effectiveness of psychodrama implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic with masks, social distancing, and other limitations. The overall findings of this study contribute to the growing psychodrama literature base while supporting evidence of psychodrama’s effectiveness in reducing depression and PTSD.

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