Psychological therapies for the treatment of post‐traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents

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There is fair evidence of the effectiveness of psychological therapies, particularly cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), for up to a month for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children and adolescents. 

Post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is highly prevalent in children and adolescents who have experienced trauma (sexual abuse, civil violence, natural disaster, domestic violence and motor vehicle accidents) and has high personal and health costs. This review examined the effectiveness of all psychological therapies for the treatment of PTSD in children and adolescents. Of 14 randomised controlled trials (with a total of 758 participants) most studies compared a psychological therapy to a control group, while none compared psychological therapies to medications or combination treatment.  More evidence is required to assess the effectiveness of psychological therapies in the longer term and to be able to compare one psychological therapy to another. The findings of this review are limited by the potential for bias, differences between studies and low numbers of studies and participants.

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