Article: Executive functioning in posttraumatic st...

The role of executive functioning in posttraumatic stress disorder: A systematic review.

Adequate executive functioning (e.g. divided attention, cognitive flexibility, selective attention and inhibition, working memory and planning) is not only crucial for daily functioning, but also for participating in interventions like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or even pharmacological treatment. Polak et al. (2012) systematically reviewed the existing literature on this topic and found in general that PTSD patients performed significantly worse than controls in most measures of executive functioning. The authors point out that results are hetreogenous, indicating differences in subgroups such as type of trauma or comorbid depression.

Polak, A. R., Witteveen, A. B., Reitsma, J. B., & Olff, M. (2012). The role of executive function in posttraumatic stress disorder: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2012.01.001