Ambulatory assessment is a methodological approach involving the repeated capture of self-report, physiological, or behavioral observations under real-world conditions near the time of their actual occurrence. Given the unique view into the dynamic processes that shape PTSD and its associated correlates and impairments, ambulatory assessment represents a valuable tool for the field of traumatic stress. The purpose of this symposium is to demonstrate this value through four presentations utilizing ambulatory assessment to consider processes and outcomes relevant to the traumatic stress field. The first presentation will introduce several metrics quantifying daily PTSD symptom fluctuation in a sample of injury survivors (Hruska). The second presentation will examine the relationship between daily PTSD symptoms and associated psychological and physiological responses with pain intensity and interference following acute physical injury (Pacella-LaBarbara). The third presentation will consider daily affective experiences associated with avoidance and the relationship that these experiences have with functioning in Veterans (McDevitt-Murphy). The fourth presentation will compare month-long daily PTSD symptom reports to the traditional diagnostic PTSD procedure of administering a single retrospective report covering the same time frame; consideration will be given to the differences that exist between the two approaches with regard to symptom recall and the implications that these differences hold for PTSD assessment (Greene). Collectively, these presentations will offer insight into the distinctive value afforded by incorporating ambulatory assessment into traumatic stress research, as well as its capacity to inform more targeted, precise, and mechanistic approaches to the prevention and treatment of PTSD and associated correlates and impairments.
Nov 7 2020
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies