W43 – Posttraumatic Stress in the Military: Development of a Treatment Algorithm

W43 – Posttraumatic Stress in the Military: Development of a Treatment Algorithm

Saturday, Oct. 29
10:45 – 11:45 (1 hr)
Meeting Room: Sheraton Hall E (Lower Concourse)
Jenny J.W. Liu*, PhD; Anthony Nazarov, PhD; Natalie Ein, PhD; Rachel Plouffe, PhD, MSc; Kevin T. Hansen; J. Don Richardson, MD, FRCPC
Supported by the Section on Military and Veterans

CanMEDS Roles:

  1. Medical Expert
  2. Health Advocate
  3. Scholar

At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Determine the relative effectiveness of psychological, pharmacological, alternative, and emerging treatments currently in use for treating post-traumatic stress disorder in military and veteran populations; 2) Identify treatment and patient characteristics that can affect clinical decision making and treatment selection; and 3) Explore the clinical and practical use of an algorithmic approach to treatment decision making.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Canadian veterans has been reported to be as high as 18%. Effective treatments for PTSD must consider many individual (e.g., age, gender, trauma exposures, and comorbidity) and treatment (e.g., availability, access, response, and tolerability) factors. In addition, the availability of diverse psychotherapies and pharmacotherapies, as well as alternative and emerging treatments for PTSD, further complicates treatment prescription and preferences of both patients and care providers. In this workshop, we will overview the rationale, methodology, preliminary results, and implications of an ongoing collaborative project that seeks to build consensus in the assessment and treatment of PTSD in military and veteran populations in Canada. This project contains three components: 1) A scan of available treatment approaches for military-related PTSD via meta-analysis and systematic review; 2) Identification of prescribing patterns and practices of psychiatrists treating PTSD across operational stress injury (OSI) clinics across Canada; and 3) Development of a consensus model to guide the treatment of military-related PTSD, with particular emphasis on treatment-resistant PTSD. We will engage participants to reflect on the challenges and considerations in working with military and veteran populations and explore the clinical and practical utility of treatment algorithms for PTSD for military and veteran populations. Participants will be engaged in experiential learning exercises, such as consensus-building and casework, to explore various applications of the treatment algorithm.


  1. Liu J, Nazarov A, Easterbrook B, et al. Four decades of military posttraumatic stress: protocol for a meta-analysis and systematic review of treatment approaches and efficacy. JMIR Res Protoc 2021;10(10):e33151.
  2. Bryant R. Post-traumatic stress disorder: a state-of-the-art review of evidence and challenges. World Psychiatry 2019;18:259–69.