Reasons underlying treatment preference: An exploratory study

Bryan N. Cochran, Larry Pruitt, Seiya Fukuda, Lori A. Zoellner, Norah C. Feeny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Very little is known about what factors influence women's treatment preferences after a sexual assault. To learn more about these factors, data were collected from 273 women who read a standard "if this happened to you, what would you do" scenario describing a sexual assault and subsequent trauma-related psychiatric symptoms. After reading standardized treatment options for a pharmacotherapy (sertraline) and a psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral treatment), participants made a hypothetical treatment choice and reported the main reasons for their choice. Women often cited reasons surrounding the effectiveness of a treatment as the primary reason for their treatment preference, suggesting potential masking of symptoms with the medication and more logical, long-lasting effects with the psychotherapy. Other common reasons underlying treatment preference were wariness of the medication and positive feelings about talking in psychotherapy. Better understanding factors that influence treatment preference may aid in refining psychoeducation materials regarding the psychological consequences of sexual assault and their treatment for the lay public and in helping clinicians further tailor their discussion of treatment alternatives for these women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-291
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Choice
  • Exploratory analysis
  • PTSD
  • Prolonged exposure
  • Sertraline
  • Treatment


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