Review: Few effective, evidence-based interventions for children exposed to traumatic events
About two of every three children will experience at least one traumatic event before they turn 18. Despite this high rate of exposure, little is known about the effectiveness of treatments aimed at preventing and relieving traumatic stress symptoms that children may experience after such events, according to researchers at RTI International, the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, the RTI-UNC Evidence-based Practice Center, and Boston Medical Center.
The article, published today in the journal Pediatrics, summarizes the results of a systematic review of clinical interventions for children under age 18 exposed to at least one traumatic event such as an accident, natural disaster, community violence, war, or political instability. Child abuse and neglect were not included in this research; a separate review covers interventions for these types of traumas. The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded the review.
After reviewing 6,647 abstracts, the investigators found 21 trials and 1 cohort study that met the criteria for inclusion in the review. Only a few psychotherapeutic treatments showed possible benefits for children exposed to trauma. The most promising interventions were school-based psychotherapy interventions that included cognitive behavior therapy. These interventions were associated with changes in symptoms of post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. The review did not find evidence of effectiveness for any of the pharmacologic interventions.
"The current body of evidence provides only a little insight into best practices in treating children exposed to trauma, some of whom already have symptoms," said Valerie Forman-Hoffman, Ph.D., a research epidemiologist at RTI International and lead author of the study. "This is particularly discouraging given recent shootings at schools and other places where children have been victims. We simply don't have much of an evidence-base to be able to recommend best treatment practices."
Adam Zolotor, M.D., a family physician at the University of North Carolina and a co-author of the review, agrees, "These findings serve as a call to action: psychotherapeutic intervention can provide some benefit to children exposed to traumatic events, but far more research is needed to make definitive conclusions. Because trauma is a common and costly source of childhood psychological distress, it is critical to understand effective forms of treatment."
The authors recommend immediate attention from funding agencies, clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and other public health authorities to support further, well-designed research that can broaden the evidence base. They suggest that future studies expand their examination of the impact of trauma interventions to a wider range of outcomes such as risk-taking behaviors and suicidality and focus on longer-term indicators of development and functioning.
Journal reference: Pediatrics
Provided by University of North Carolina
- Psychological therapies improve life for children with post-traumatic stress disorder Dec 11, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Psychological treatments may not prevent PTSD Jul 08, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- No evidence to support psychological debriefing in schools Jan 05, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Making sure the right mental health interventions are provided in humanitarian settings Oct 16, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Afghani children suffering from post-traumatic stress Jun 23, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Assumptions of Griffith's fracture theory
2 hours ago Any experts on Griffith's fracture theory? I am studying the subject and I am having hard time finding out if the theory is valid for all possible...
Current leading voltage or vice versa concept
3 hours ago Hello, I was wondering if there is a conceptual explanation for when current leads voltage or vice versa for capacitors or inductors with AC...
Angular Frequency of AC voltage
6 hours ago Hello, I am wondering, what is the physical interpretation of the angular frequency of AC voltage? I don't see the physicality of what the angle...
Modeling Rigid Body - Unsure about Euler angles and angular velocity
7 hours ago I'm modeling a single 3D rigid body in preparation for some more complicated modeling in order to gain a better understanding of Euler angles, the...
Function for a bullet's path
8 hours ago I've been mulling this over all weekend, and I've decided to get some help on this. The problem is writing a function to describe a bullet's path....
Elementary questions relating to Newton's laws of motion
10 hours ago i) If a wall breaks when it gets hit by a cannonball, did the wall exert an equal and opposite force on the cannonball? ii) Would the force...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
A study by Alexandra L. C. Martiniuk, M.Sc, Ph.D., of The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, Australia, and colleagues suggests less sleep per night is associated with a significant increase in the risk for motor ...
Pediatrics 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Whole-cell pertussis vaccines were more effective at protecting against pertussis than acellular pertussis vaccines during a large recent outbreak, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in Pediatrics.
Pediatrics May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Levels of physical inactivity and obesity are very high in children, with fewer than 50% of primary school-aged boys and fewer than 28% of girls meeting the minimum levels of physical activity required to maintain health. ...
Pediatrics May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Poisonings in young children have increased over the past decade, mainly due to medications in the home. A new study led by the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital, found that medication-related poisonings ...
Pediatrics May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered specific chemical alterations in two genes that, when present during pregnancy, reliably predict whether a woman will develop postpartum depression.
20 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Children who have suffered maltreatment are 36% more likely to be obese in adulthood compared to non-maltreated children, according to a new study by King's College London. The authors estimate that the prevention or effective ...
20 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—The decade-old law that transformed the battle against HIV and AIDS in developing countries is at a crossroads. The dream of future generations freed from the epidemic is running up against an era ...
3 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
9 hours ago | 4.6 / 5 (12) | 4 |
Early-life exposure to traffic-related air pollution was significantly associated with higher hyperactivity scores at age 7, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital ...
4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
New research suggests that a compound abundant in the Mediterranean diet takes away cancer cells' "superpower" to escape death. By altering a very specific step in gene regulation, this compound essentially re-educates cancer ...
12 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (11) | 2 |