Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Multi-component therapy shown beneficial in treating PTSD in adolescent girls

Date:
December 24, 2013
Source:
The JAMA Network Journals
Summary:
Adolescents girls with sexual abuse-related post-traumatic stress disorder experienced greater benefit from prolonged exposure therapy (a type of therapy that has been shown effectiveness for adults) than from supportive counseling, according to a study.

Adolescents girls with sexual abuse-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced greater benefit from prolonged exposure therapy (a type of therapy that has been shown effectiveness for adults) than from supportive counseling, according to a study appearing in the December 25 issue of JAMA.

"Adolescence is a unique developmental stage that is associated with increased exposure to traumatic events that can lead to PTSD," according to background information in the article. "Prolonged exposure therapy is the most studied evidence-based, theory-driven treatment for adults with PTSD, but it is rarely provided to adolescents because of concern that it may exacerbate PTSD symptoms or the belief that patients must master coping skills before exposure can safely be provided." Prolonged exposure therapy is a form of behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy, characterized by re-experiencing the traumatic event through remembering it and engaging with, rather than avoiding, reminders of the trauma (triggers).

Edna B. Foa, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and colleagues hypothesized that a prolonged exposure program modified for adolescents (prolonged exposure-A) would be superior to supportive counseling in reducing interviewer-assessed PTSD severity, rate of PTSD diagnosis, self-reported PTSD severity and depression, and improving general functioning. The trial included 61 adolescent girls with PTSD; counselors who had not previously administered prolonged exposure therapy provided the treatments in a community mental health clinic. Participants were randomized to receive fourteen 60- to 90-minute sessions of prolonged exposure therapy (n = 31) or supportive counseling (n = 30). Follow-up was 12 months.

Participants who received prolonged exposure showed greater improvement in PTSD symptoms and were more likely to lose their PTSD diagnosis and be classified as good responders than those who received supportive counseling. Also, participants who received prolonged exposure demonstrated greater improvement in depressive symptoms and functioning than those who received supportive counseling. The superiority of prolonged exposure over supportive counseling was also evident at 12-month follow-up.

"An important clinical implication of these results is the feasibility of disseminating and implementing prolonged exposure-A in community mental health clinics for adolescents who are motivated to participate in treatment. Prolonged exposure-A was successfully implemented by counselors with no prior training in evidence-based treatments and with relatively little supervision from experts. This is important because the need for evidence-based treatment of PTSD far exceeds the availability of these services," the authors write.

Sean Perrin, Ph.D., of Lund University, Lund, Sweden, comments on the findings of this study in an accompanying editorial.

"Findings from the current report by Foa et al should allay therapist concerns about any potential harmful effects of exposure and the need for extensive preparation of the patient for exposure. The heightened arousal that accompanies exposure to traumatic reminders in session usually dissipates within a few sessions and leads to rapid reductions in symptoms between sessions. Thus, the heightened arousal that many therapists fear causing by leading the patients through exposure exercises is an expected and integral part of the recovery progress."

"In the future, greater efforts are needed to increase awareness about the safety, tolerability, and effectiveness of treatments like prolonged exposure. Research is also needed to determine the minimum amount of training and supervision for therapists to effectively deliver prolonged exposure and similar exposure-focused treatments to patients with PTSD and other anxiety disorders."


Story Source:

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


Journal References:

  1. Edna B. Foa, Carmen P. McLean, Sandra Capaldi, David Rosenfield. Prolonged Exposure vs Supportive Counseling for Sexual Abuse–Related PTSD in Adolescent Girls. JAMA, 2013; 310 (24): 2650 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2013.282829
  2. Sean Perrin. Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD in Sexually Abused Adolescents. JAMA, 2013; 310 (24): 2619 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2013.283944

Cite This Page:

The JAMA Network Journals. "Multi-component therapy shown beneficial in treating PTSD in adolescent girls." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131224183622.htm>.
The JAMA Network Journals. (2013, December 24). Multi-component therapy shown beneficial in treating PTSD in adolescent girls. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131224183622.htm
The JAMA Network Journals. "Multi-component therapy shown beneficial in treating PTSD in adolescent girls." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131224183622.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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