Moving from universal to selective prevention: results of a web-based early intervention for PTSD

Joanne MouthaanThis is a post by Joanne Mouthaan. As a PhD candidate, Joanne conducted a large prospective longitudinal trial of mental health in traumatic injury patients in Amsterdam. Now in the final stage of her thesis, she is working as a lecturer at the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology of Leiden University, The Netherlands.

Our team’s goal is to gain more insight into a) the incidence and development of mental health problems after injury, b) possible bio/psycho/social factors contributing to these problems, and c) prevention of mental health problems by intervening early. From 2005 to 2010, we recruited approximately 900 patients from two level-1 trauma centers (the Academic Medical Center and the VU University Medical Center). Regarding the issue of prevention, we developed a web-based early psychological intervention called Trauma TIPS, the main subject of this post.

Traumatic injury and PTSD

Around the world, traumatic injury is one of the most common traumatic events, accounting for 9% of global mortality. Because of its high incidence, injuries cause millions of people to experience (temporary or permanent) disabilities on a yearly basis, including mental health problems (see http://www.who.int/topics/injuries/en/). PTSD develops in 10-20% of injury patients. Therefore, prevention of PTSD has been mentioned by some as the holy grail of trauma research. Continue reading

Can very young children do cognitive-behavioral therapy ?

CBT for young childrenFive key considerations for working with young traumatized children” by Dr. Alex de Young was one of our most popular blogposts last year. We know relatively little of young children’s recovery and of how we can help them. The field is rapidly moving forward however and one of its pioneers, Prof. Michael Scheeringa, has agreed to tell you more about his new CBT approach for very young children. Continue reading

The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy for children with PTSD

This week, we discuss a recent meta-analysis by Kowalik et al, which will also be input to a live Twitter journal club / chat. If you would like to join or just want to read the comments, have a look at #traumaresearch on Thursday February 23rd 10pm GMT (= 5pm New York, 23h Amsterdam, Friday 9am Melbourne).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is probably the most used, or at least most recommended, treatment for children with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As I am quite fond of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, the new meta-analysis on the efficacy of trauma focused CBT by Kowalik and colleagues quickly grabbed my attention. Although (and because?) I have a few critical questions regarding the publication, I think it merits attention from researchers and clinicians. Continue reading