for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Annesa P Flentje, PhD
Headshot of Annesa P Flentje
Annesa P Flentje



The goal of this clinical trial is see if Cognitive Processing Therapy and STAIR Narrative Therapy work to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual/aromantic, and all other sexual or gender minority (LGBTQIA+) adults. The main questions it aims to answer are:

  • Do these treatments reduce PTSD symptoms in LGBTQIA+ patients?
  • Do these treatments help improve quality of life and reduce depression in LGBTQIA+ patients?
  • Do stress from stigma and discrimination and drug/alcohol use change the impact of the treatment on PTSD symptoms?
  • Are LGBTQIA+ patients satisfied with these treatments? Do these treatments work differently among different groups within the LGBTQIA+ community?
  • Do LGBTQIA+ patients complete these treatments?

Study participants will receive one of these two PTSD treatments. Participants will complete assessments before and after receiving treatment.

Official Title

LGBTQIA+ Initiative for Empowerment, Support, Coping, and PTSD Education: A Comparative Effectiveness Study of PTSD Treatments Among Sexual and Gender Minority Populations


This study will compare two PTSD treatments that are known to work: Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and STAIR Narrative Therapy (SNT). PTSD treatments have not been tested among LGBTQIA+ people. The study is trying to learn which treatment(s) work the best for LGBTQIA+ people in real world settings. This study will help guide clinical decision-making and the selection of PTSD treatment by health care organizations, clinicians, and patients based on what works best for LGBTQIA+ people.

The study will investigate which treatments work better in reducing PTSD symptoms among LGBTQIA+ people. The study will identify if minority stress (e.g., experiences of stigma and discrimination) and use of drugs or alcohol will moderate the effects of the interventions on PTSD symptoms. This study is investigating if both treatments improve depression symptoms and improve quality of life, and which treatments patients complete. The study is also examining if these treatments are effective for all individuals in the study, and if the effects of treatment are different among: 1) cisgender sexual minority men, cisgender sexual minority women, gender expansive or non-binary individuals, transgender women, transgender men, 2) participants who live in urban versus rural or suburban areas, and 3) racial and ethnic minority LGBTQIA+ participants.


PTSD, Therapy, LGBTQ, Depression, Comparative Effectiveness Trial, Substance Use, Minority Stress, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Cognitive Processing Therapy, STAIR Narrative Therapy


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  1. 18 years of age or older
  2. Currently live in California
  3. Ability to understand study procedures and to comply with them for the entire length of the study
  4. Ability to understand a written informed consent document and the willing to sign it
  5. Ability to speak and read English or Spanish
  6. Identify as a sexual and/or gender minority
  7. Score 33 or higher on the PTSD Checklist-5 (PCL-5)
  8. Interest in getting treatment for PTSD
  9. Not be in another concurrent psychotherapy treatment (group or individual) for PTSD (psychotherapy treatment for non-PTSD conditions is allowed).

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Contraindication to any study-related procedure or assessment
  2. Clinically significant impairment which interferes with ability to fully participate in the study (including symptoms of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or other disorders)
  3. Active suicidal intent


  • UCSF Alliance Health Project
    San Francisco California 94103 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Annesa P Flentje, PhD
    As an Associate Professor in the department of Community Health Systems at UCSF, my career has been devoted to conducting impactful research in the field of LGBTQIA+ health. My work spans various topics, including minority stress, biological underpinnings of stress, epigenetics, gene expression, substance use, trauma, and intersectionality.


not yet accepting patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Expecting 400 study participants
Last Updated