Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Group Psychotherapy Effective For Treating Depression Of Teen Girls Affected By War In Africa

Date:
August 1, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Group psychotherapy was effective in reducing depression among displaced adolescent girls who are survivors of war in northern Uganda, though the intervention was not effective for adolescent boys, according to a new study.

Group psychotherapy was effective in reducing depression among displaced adolescent girls who are survivors of war in northern Uganda, though the intervention was not effective for adolescent boys, according to a study in the August 1 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

Related Articles


"Over 1.8 million individuals, mainly ethnic Acholi, have been internally displaced during 20 years of conflict between the government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Army. The Lord's Resistance Army has been accused of human rights abuses including mass violence, rape, and the abduction of more than 25,000 children.

Local populations have crowded into internally displaced persons camps where they face threats to their health and well being," the authors write. Prior research on children affected by armed conflicts documents increased risk of mental health problems, yet few interventions have been evaluated rigorously in randomized trials or have generated mixed results.

Paul Bolton, M.B.B.S., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, and colleagues investigated whether a therapy-based intervention (interpersonal psychotherapy for groups, [IPT-G]) and an activity-based intervention (creative play, [CP]) were effective for relieving mental health and psychosocial problems resulting from war and displacement among 314 adolescents (age 14-17 years), living in two camps in northern Uganda. The randomized controlled trial was conducted from May 2005 through December 2005.

Both interventions comprised 16 weekly group meetings, lasting 1.5 to 2 hours each. Locally developed screening tools assessed the effectiveness of the interventions in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving conduct problems and functioning among those who met study criteria and were randomly allocated to one of three study groups: 105, interpersonal psychotherapy for groups; 105, creative play; and 104, wait-control group (individuals wait listed to receive treatment at study end).

The researchers found that interpersonal psychotherapy was superior to the wait-list control condition in reducing depression symptoms, but statistically significant improvement was limited to the girl participants in the study. Creative play was not superior to the wait-list control condition. Neither interpersonal psychotherapy for groups nor creative play was effective in improving anxiety, conduct problems or functioning among boys or girls.

The failure of both interpersonal psychotherapy for groups and creative play "to significantly assist boys in this study raises the question of whether other interventions may be needed to assist war-affected boys with depression symptoms. Since both group psychotherapy and activity-based interventions were not effective, some form of individual psychotherapy or an entirely different type of intervention may be indicated as the basis for a future trial," the researchers write.

This study suggests that group-based psychological interventions can help adolescents who have been traumatized by war and displacement and who live in poor, rural, and illiterate communities.

Reference: JAMA. 2007;298(5):519-527

Editorial: Children of War and Opportunities for Peace

In an accompanying editorial, Robert J. Ursano, M.D., of Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Md., and Jon A. Shaw, M.D., of the University of Miami, comment on the issue of children and war.

"No one endures war-related traumatic events unchanged. Little is known about the changes in values and hopes and views of the future that exposure to such trauma engenders. Children who are still learning to regulate mood and aggression are certainly even more vulnerable to these life-changing forces. The researchers reporting the results of their studies in this issue bring much-needed attention to the violence of war and the resulting mental health problems. Deeper appreciation of the effects of exposure to war-related trauma as well as improved understanding of individuals' attitudes toward reconciliation and the means to achieve peace may contribute to development of interventions to address the barriers to recovery not only from disease and illness but from lost futures and visions of life."

Reference for editorial JAMA. 2007;298(5):567-568.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Group Psychotherapy Effective For Treating Depression Of Teen Girls Affected By War In Africa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070731175925.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, August 1). Group Psychotherapy Effective For Treating Depression Of Teen Girls Affected By War In Africa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070731175925.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Group Psychotherapy Effective For Treating Depression Of Teen Girls Affected By War In Africa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070731175925.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins