CHANGES IN NEGATIVE BELIEFS FOLLOWING THREE BRIEF PROGRAMS FOR FACILITATING RECOVERY AFTER ASSAULT


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Abstract

Background:This study examines whether changes in negative beliefs about oneself, others, and the world occur as a result of early intervention aimed at preventing the development of chronic PTSD and further explores whether changes in negative beliefs during early intervention mediate long-term changes in psychopathology and functioning.Methods:Ninety recent female assault survivors were randomized to 4-week early intervention programs: brief cognitive behavioral intervention, weekly assessment, or supportive counseling (SC). Changes in negative beliefs were examined from preintervention to postintervention.Results:Negative beliefs improved across interventions, with somewhat less benefit reported by participants receiving SC. As expected, before intervention more severe negative beliefs were associated with higher initial trauma reactions and these negative beliefs generally improved from preintervention to postintervention. Moreover, for the brief cognitive–behavioral intervention, changes in perceptions of self and one's safety mediated longer-term changes in trauma-related symptoms.Conclusions:The present results highlight the potential importance of changes in negative beliefs in long-term adjustment of recent assault survivors. Depression and Anxiety, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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