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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 683293, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/683293
Research Article

Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Using the Traditional Japanese Herbal Medicine Saikokeishikankyoto: A Randomized, Observer-Blinded, Controlled Trial in Survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, No. 1-1, Seiryo-Machi, Aoba Ward, Sendai City 980-8574, Japan
2Department of Internal Medicine and Rehabilitation Science, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, No. 1-1, Seiryo-Machi, Aoba Ward, Sendai City 980-8574, Japan
3Comprehensive Education Center for Community Medicine, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, No. 2-1, Seiryo-Machi, Aoba Ward, Sendai City 980-8575, Japan
4Center for Traditional Asian Medicine, National Sendai-Nishitaga Hospital, No. 2-11-11, Kagitorihoncho, Taihaku Ward, Sendai City 982-8555, Japan
5Graduate Medical Education Center, Tohoku University Hospital, No. 1-1, Seiryo-Machi, Aoba Ward, Sendai City 980-8574, Japan
6Division of General Medicine, Saitama Medical Center, Jichi Medical University, No. 1-847, Amanumacho, Oomiya Ward, Saitama City 330-8503, Japan
7Department of Education and Support for Community Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital, No. 1-1, Seiryo-Machi, Aoba Ward, Sendai City 980-8574, Japan

Received 3 December 2013; Accepted 27 February 2014; Published 24 March 2014

Academic Editor: Pinar Atukeren

Copyright © 2014 Takehiro Numata et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami caused immense damage over a wide area of eastern Japan. Hence, many survivors are at high risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This randomized, observer-blinded, controlled trial examined the efficacy and safety of the traditional Japanese herbal formula saikokeishikankyoto (SKK) in the treatment of PTSD among survivors of this disaster. Forty-three participants with an Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) score ≥ 25 were randomized into SKK and control groups. The primary endpoint was the change in IES-R scores from baseline till after 2 weeks of treatment. Intergroup statistical comparisons were performed. The magnitude of changes in total IES-R scores differed significantly between the two groups . Post hoc analysis showed that the total IES-R score improved significantly in the SKK group from 49.6 ± 11.9 to 25.5 ± 17.0 (P < 0.001). Subscale scores improved significantly in the SKK group (avoidance, ; hyperarousal, ; intrusion, ). Two-week treatment with SKK significantly improved IES-R scores among PTSD patients. This traditional medicine may be a valid choice for the treatment of psychological and physical symptoms in PTSD patients.