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Group play therapy effect on Bam earthquake related emotional and behavioral symptoms in preschool children: a before-after trial

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Author(s): J Mahmoudi-Gharaei | M Bina | MT Yasami | A Emami | F Naderi

Journal: Iranian Journal of Pediatrics
ISSN 2008-2142

Volume: 16;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 137;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Group play therapy | Cognitive-behavioral approach | Bam earthquake

ABSTRACT
Background: Depressive, anxious, aggressive and regressive behaviors are the most common psychiatric symptoms following natural disasters in children. Art, play and behavioral techniques are used for reducing these traumatic symptoms. We studied the effect of 12 sessions of group play therapy in children 3 to 6 years old who had been exposed to the Bam earthquake directly Methods: This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of 12 sessions of group play therapy with cognitive-behavioral approach for the preschool aged children who had been exposed to the Bam earthquake directly and had lost at least one of their first degree family members. Mental retarded children and those with psychiatric or severe medical problems that needed medications were excluded. Before and after interventions we evaluated post traumatic, emotional and anxiety symptoms by using Yule’s PTSD scale and behavioral symptoms by Rutter’s questionnaire. Then we compared before and after interventions scores. Findings: At first 19 children were included in the study, 13 of them completed at least two thirds of the interventional sessions. We excluded six children who participated in fewer sessions. The mean scores of Yule’s PTSD scale and Rutter’s questionaire reduced during interventions which was statistically significant. Conclusions: Trauma/grief focused group play therapy may be effective in reducing post traumatic symptoms of natural disasters in preschool aged children.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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