Get attention for your online survey

mental health surveySomething new on the blog: Have your online survey posted!

The new Surveys page will show current online questionnaires on trauma recovery and related topics.

Many thanks to guestblogger Betty Lai for asking me whether I could promote her current online research (see below). It seemed so obvious that we should have a page for that. Continue reading

Traumatic stress and recovery: Lessons from a stuffed animal

Trauma Recovery squaredA few people have asked me what the cuddly monkey stands for on this blog and since it’s an important picture for me, I’d like to share its story.

When people finish their PhD in the Netherlands, they print it in book form and send it to colleagues, friends, and family. This practice has developed into a serious business and the books do a great job as ‘extended business cards’.

One of the toughest decisions in the publication process regards the cover (other people may argue the font, and a few may think that there are no tough decisions left after having finished a PhD manuscript ;-)). Continue reading

Working in bushfire affected areas: Nurses’ experiences

bushfireAustralia has been struck by numerous bushfires in the past few weeks and will be seeing many more as the peak of the bushfire season is yet to come. How do professionals experience working in bushfire situations? Samara Wilson* has summarized a recent study for you.

Ranse and Lenson (2012) have looked into the diverse role nurses played in the aftermath of the Australian Black Saturday and Victorian bushfires in 2009. Nursing staff are often among the first to be involved with response and recovery efforts following disasters such as bushfires. However, nurses often feel they lack the necessary training to provide adequate support for the people they encounter in these extreme situations. Education for disaster scenarios is not standardized across Australian settings, with nurses experiencing varied amounts of training, and there is little research in this domain.

This study used in-depth telephone interviews with 11 nurses volunteering with St John’s Ambulance Australia who were involved in the Black Saturday and Victorian bushfires in 2009. The researchers looked at the roles nurses played in psychosocial support, coordination, and problem solving, and examined how these were influenced by the nurses’ prior education, training, and availability of resources.

Two broad themes emerged from the interviews. The first theme was ‘being prepared’: Continue reading

We don’t want to talk about it: Treatment dropout

This guest post is written by Julia Diehle, who is in the final year of her PhD project (supervised by dr. Lindauer and prof. Boer at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam). Her research project concerns a randomized controlled trial of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in children with PTSD.

Treatment dropout will be the topic of next week’s #traumaresearch Twitter chat on Thursday 26 April (9pm Melbourne, 13u Amsterdam; see your local time & how to join). Julia will join us as a special guest, I hope to see many of you there! Now over to Julia: 

We do not like to talk about it but treatment dropouts and “no-shows” are a big problem in trauma therapy. Actually not in trauma therapy alone, but in outpatient settings in general. About 50% of adult patients drop out of outpatient therapy¹ and the number of children dropping out of treatment seems to be even higher. Miller and colleagues² found that more than 60% of children did not complete 8 sessions of therapy and that about 17% of the children did not even return after the intake session.

It is all about long-term vs. short-term gains

Trauma-therapy is no fun and treatment gains are achieved on the long term rather than on the short term. Continue reading

The 20 most influential papers on posttraumatic stress

Which papers have shaped your thoughts on traumatic stress and recovery? Which articles do you often refer to? These questions will be the starting point for the next #traumaresearch chat on Twitter in exactly a week (March 28th in the US, 29th in Australia; see your local time).


Meanwhile, I have had a look at which publications have been most influential in terms of citations. For the methods (e.g., I have excluded articles focused on measures), see below. These are the most cited papers, with links to free full-text pdfs or abstracts:

  1. Kessler et al. (1995) Posttraumatic stress disorder in the national comorbidity survey. Archives of General Psychiatry. 3437 citations
  2. Breslau et al. (1991) Traumatic events and posttraumatic stress disorder in an urban population of young adults. Archives of General Psychiatry. 1181 citations
  3. Kendall-Tackett et al. (1993) Impact of sexual abuse on children: A review and synthesis of recent empirical studies. Psychological Bulletin. 981 citations
  4. Ehlers & Clark (2000) A cognitive model of posttraumatic stress disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 978 citations               Continue reading