Effectiveness of an intensive treatment programme combining prolonged exposure and EMDR therapy for adolescents suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder

Description

Background
Following promising effects of an intensive trauma treatment for adults, the question arises whether adolescents who suffer from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also profit from a similar treatment programme. Objective: To assess the effectiveness of an intensive trauma-focused treatment programme combining two evidence-based trauma-focused therapies and physical activities for adolescents suffering from severe PTSD.

Method
Treatment consisted of daily sessions of prolonged exposure (PE) therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy supplemented with physical activity (13 days on average). All patients (N = 27; 96.3% women, mean age = 16.1 years; SD = 1.3) had been exposed to one or more (interpersonal) traumatic events. Twenty-two of them (81.5%) also fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of a comorbid psychiatric disorder (mean number of comorbid disorders = 2.22). The majority of patients were referred because previous treatment was difficult or complications were expected to occur. Severity of PTSD symptoms and presence of a PTSD diagnostic status were assessed using the Dutch version of the CAPSCA IV at baseline, post-treatment and at 3-month follow-up.

Results
CAPS-CA IV scores decreased significantly from pre- to post-treatment (Cohen’s d = 1.39). Of all patients 81.5% (n = 22) showed a clinically meaningful response, of whom 63% (n = 17) no longer fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of PTSD at post-treatment as established with the CAPS-CA IV. The results were maintained at 3-month follow-up. During treatment, neither adverse events nor dropout occurred.

Conclusions
The results suggest that an intensive trauma-focused treatment programme combining prolonged exposure, EMDR therapy, and physical activity can be an effective and safe treatment for adolescents suffering from severe PTSD and multiple comorbid psychiatric disorders.

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

Ytje van Pelt
Petra Fokkema
Carlijn de Roos
Ad de Jongh

Original Work Citation

van Pelt, Y., Fokkema, P., de Roos, C., & de Jongh, A.(2021). Effectiveness of an intensive treatment programme combining prolonged exposure and EMDR therapy for adolescents suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 12(1), 1917876. doi:10.1080/20008198.2021.1917876

Collection

Citation

“Effectiveness of an intensive treatment programme combining prolonged exposure and EMDR therapy for adolescents suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 29, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26821.

Output Formats