Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

After traumatic event, early intervention reduces odds of PTSD in children by 73 percent

Date:
October 1, 2010
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
A new approach that helps improve communication between child and caregiver, such as recognizing and managing traumatic stress symptoms and teaching coping skills, was able to prevent chronic and sub-clinical PTSD in 73 percent of children. The intervention, called the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention also reduced PTSD symptoms in children -- which can include reliving a traumatic experience, sleep disturbances or emotional numbness -- and promoted recovery more quickly than a comparison intervention.

After experiencing a potentially traumatic event -- a car accident, a physical or sexual assault, a sports injury, witnessing violence -- as many as 1 in 5 children will develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

A new approach that helps improve communication between child and caregiver, such as recognizing and managing traumatic stress symptoms and teach coping skills, was able to prevent chronic and sub-clinical PTSD in 73 percent of children. The intervention, called the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) also reduced PTSD symptoms in children -- which can include reliving a traumatic experience, sleep disturbances, emotional numbness, angry outbursts or difficulties concentrating -- and promoted recovery more quickly than a comparison intervention.

"This is the first preventative intervention to improve outcomes in children who have experienced a potentially traumatic event, and the first to reduce the onset of PTSD in kids," said lead study author Steven Berkowitz, MD, associate professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and director of the Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response and Recovery. "If this study is replicated and validated in future studies, this intervention could be used nationally to help children successfully recover from a traumatic event without progressing to PTSD."

The study now appears online in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

In the study, 106 children ranging from 7 to 17 years in age and a caregiver were randomly assigned to receive the four-session Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention or a four-session supportive comparison intervention, both provided within 30 days following exposure to a traumatic event. Children were referred by police, a forensic sexual abuse program, or the local pediatric emergency department in an urban city in Connecticut. The CFTSI intervention began with an initial baseline assessment to measure the child's trauma history and a preliminary visit with the caregiver, focusing on their essential role in the process. Within the sessions, there is a focus on improving communication between the child and caregiver, as well as other supportive measures. At the end of the next two sessions, the clinician, caregiver and child, decide on a homework assignment to practice certain coping skills. The behavioral skill components provide techniques to recognize and manage traumatic stress symptoms.

Future studies will need to validate the effectiveness of this intervention, but researchers hope that brief and effective interventions like CFTSI can be applied early to prevent the development of PTSD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Steven J. Berkowitz, Carla Smith Stover, Steven R. Marans. The Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention: Secondary prevention for youth at risk of developing PTSD. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02321.x

Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "After traumatic event, early intervention reduces odds of PTSD in children by 73 percent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929123632.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2010, October 1). After traumatic event, early intervention reduces odds of PTSD in children by 73 percent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929123632.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "After traumatic event, early intervention reduces odds of PTSD in children by 73 percent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929123632.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:
from the past week

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