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Trauma-focused CBT reduces anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in children exposed to intimate partner violence

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Question

Question

How effective is a trauma-focused cognitive-behavioural therapy (TF-CBT) programme for children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to intimate partner violence (IPV)?

Patients

124 children aged 7–14 years old with mental health symptoms identified through self-referrals to a women's community centre and shelter. Children in this age group were eligible if they had at least five IPV-related PTSD symptoms and were English speaking with an English-speaking mother (if she was the direct IPV victim). Exclusions: developmental disorder, living in an IPV shelter or if the participant or parent had serious symptoms of psychosis.

Setting

A women's community centre and shelter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; recruitment September 2004 to June 2009.

Intervention

TF-CBT was delivered to mothers and children over eight 45 min sessions; some sessions were delivered separately to the mother and child, and some to both together. Sessions included psychoeducation, relaxation and stress management techniques, cognitive coping techniques, addressing maladaptive thoughts related to the child's experience of IPV and sharing of these …

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