Increasing self-efficacy reduces visual intrusions to a trauma-film paradigm

Nadia Rahman, Danny Horesh, Nicole A. Kouri, Rony Kapel Lev-Ari, Roseann Titcombe-Parekh, Richard A. Bryant, Charles R. Marmar, Adam D. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: It has been proposed that self-efficacy plays a critical role in the onset and maintenance of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This study aimed to test if increasing perceptions of self-efficacy using a false feedback technique about coping abilities prior to a trauma-film paradigm lead to a reduction of visual intrusions over the course of 6 days. Design and Methods: Healthy participants recruited from the community were randomized to a high self-efficacy (HSE, N = 18), low self-efficacy (LSE, N = 21), or neutral self-efficacy (NSE, N = 23) conditions. Results: Participants in the HSE condition reported higher levels of self-efficacy. In addition, individuals in the HSE conditions reported significantly fewer intrusions over 6 days. Unexpectedly, individuals in the LSE condition reported fewer intrusions on the final day of the study compared to those in the NSE condition. The LSE group was also the only group showing a significant linear decline in intrusion across the 6 days. Discussion: These findings provide further support that perceptions of self-efficacy are modifiable and may contribute to clinically-relevant processes underlying PTSD. Future prospective research with individuals exposed to trauma will help to shed light on the potential role of self-efficacy to buffer the negative impacts of traumatic stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-215
Number of pages14
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number2
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the support of a Department of Defense (grant no W81XWH-13-2-0021) awarded to Adam D. Brown and Charles R. Marmar.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • PTSD
  • intrusions
  • memory
  • self-efficacy
  • trauma
  • trauma-film paradigm


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