- For adolescents with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms related to abuse, developmentally adapted cognitive therapy yields better results than waitlist status.
- The young people tolerated the intervention well in this multicenter randomized controlled trial .
Why this matters
- Although abuse-related PTSD symptoms are relatively common, treatments targeting this population have received relatively scant attention.
- Compared with waitlisted participants, those receiving the intervention showed more improvement in PTSD severity scores (Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for Children and Adolescents for DSM-IV):
- 24.7 (95% CI, 16.6-32.7) vs 47.5 (95% CI, 37.9-57.1); Hedges' g=0.90.
- They had improved more at follow-up, too:
- 25.9 (95% CI, 16.2-35.6) vs 47.3 (95% CI, 37.8-56.8); Hedges' g=0.80.
- Self-reported results, secondary outcome findings followed the same pattern.
- Younger participants seemed to gain the most benefit.
- Trial enrolled 88 youth aged 14-21 years (44 to treatment; 44 to waitlist) seeking treatment for PTSD related to childhood abuse; 3 outpatient clinics in Germany, July 2013-June 2015.
- Outcomes (primary was PTSD symptom severity) evaluated at baseline, 8 weeks posttreatment start, after treatment, 3 months posttreatment.
- Funding: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
- Small population, 85% female, excluded participants with severe, life-threatening behaviors, recent substance dependence.