A Randomized Trial of Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Therapy for Children With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Following Single-Incident Trauma: Predictors and Outcome at 1-Year Follow-Up

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Abstract

Objective: The 1-year outcome and moderators of adjustment for children and youth receiving treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following single-incident trauma was examined. Method: Children and youth who had experienced single-incident trauma (N = 33; 7–17 years old) were randomly assigned to receive 9 weeks of either trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) or trauma-focused cognitive therapy (without exposure; CT) that was administered to them and their parents individually. Results: Intent-to-treat analyses demonstrated that both groups maintained posttreatment gains in PTSD, depression and general anxiety symptoms reductions at 1-year follow-up, with no children meeting criteria for PTSD. A large proportion of children showed good end-state functioning at follow-up (CBT: 65%; CT: 71%). Contrary to 6-month outcomes, maternal adjustment no longer moderated children’s outcome, nor did any other tested variables. Conclusion: The findings confirm the positive longer-term outcomes of using trauma-focused cognitive–behavioral methods for PTSD secondary to single-incident trauma and that these outcomes are not dependent on the use of exposure.

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