A new study
There is strong preliminary evidence from randomised control trials (RCTs) that using trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy can help support children experiencing PTSD following sexual abuse.
But there are no published RCTs of trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy for PTSD in adolescents following other forms of traumatic experience. This could include domestic/community violence, emotional maltreatment or complex and life-threatening health difficulties.
Our new study, funded by the NSPCC and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has two main elements:
- to find out whether a short mental health and PTSD awareness training programme helps frontline staff in a voluntary organisation working with children who have experienced child neglect or abuse to screen for depression, anxiety and (specifically) PTSD
- to determine whether cognitive therapy for PTSD is an effective therapeutic intervention for adolescents with PTSD.
This study coincides with the DECRYPT study being carried out by the University of East Anglia. This aims to evaluate the effectiveness of trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy for PTSD in young people exposed to multiple traumas, compared to treatment as usual. It is being delivered by clinicians in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) teams.
We’re considering the potential for collaborating with DECRYPT, within agreed ethical and trial boundaries.
We hope these studies will add to our knowledge about how to identify and respond appropriately to children experiencing trauma as a result of childhood maltreatment.