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Behavioral group therapy effect on Bam earthquake related PTSD symptoms in children: A randomized clinical trial

Author(s): "J Mahmoudi-Gharaei | MR Mohammadi | M Bina | MT Yasami | Y Fakour | F Naderi "

Journal: Iranian Journal of Pediatrics
ISSN 2008-2142

Volume: 16;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Group cognitive behavioral therapy

Background: In children and adolescents physical and psychological integrity threatening occur after disasters, whereby post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be the first reaction. Psychological debriefing is a way for prevention and reducing PTSD symptoms. Many studies have shown the efficacy of behavioral therapy in treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Few evidence is available for using these techniques in combination for prevention and treatment of PTSD symptoms. This study compared the efficacy of psychological debriefing and cognitive behavioral group therapy combination on Bam earthquake related PTSD symptoms in children with a control group. Methods: In a control trial, we evaluated the efficacy of one session psychological debriefing and three sessions of group behavioral therapy in Bam earthquake adolescent survivors with PTSD symptoms and compared it with a control group. The mean age of participants was 9.07 (SD=1.7) years and no one had sever PTSD or other psychiatric disorder that needed pharmacological interventions. Before and after interventions we evaluated PTSD symptoms by use of K-SADS questionnaire and compared them with the control group. Results: The study included 100 persons, of whom 20 persons were excluded during intervention because of migration. The mean values of total PTSD symptoms and the symptoms of re-experience and avoidance were reduced after interventions. This reduction was statistically significant only for symptoms of re-experience. In control group the mean values of PTSD symptoms increased during study which was statistically significant. The two groups showed statistically significant differences of symptom reduction in total PTSD symptoms, re-experience and avoidance. No difference was detected for hyper arousal. Conclusion: Psychological debriefing and group behavioral therapy may have preventive effect on PTSD symptoms and may reduce symptoms of re-experience.
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