40 posts · 30,160 views
A blog about traumatic exposure, posttraumatic stress, and recovery. With a particular focus on children.
It’s called the collective action problem: we’d rather rely on others to do the hard work.In a cohesive community however, it is more likely that people will volunteer to become active. The reason? The enforceable trust that comes with the cohesion. This is important for how you organise your daily working life (make sure your team is cohesive) :-) but may also explain why some communities have less trouble than others to overcome disaster experiences.... Read more »
Christakis, & Fowler. (2007) The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years. N Engl J Med, 370-379. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa066082
Kawachi I, & Subramanian SV. (2006) Measuring and modeling the social and geographic context of trauma: a multilevel modeling approach. Journal of traumatic stress, 195-203. PMID: 16612828
The media is filled with stories about traumatized children and adolescents, such as the school shootings at Sandy Hook and Columbine. However, a range of more common traumatic events, such as accidents and caregiver maltreatment, receive less attention. ... Read more »
McLaughlin, Koenen, Hill, Petukhova, Sampson, Zaslavsky, & Kessler. (2013) Trauma Exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a National Sample of Adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child , 815. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2013.05.011
Do not use psychological debriefing when a child has been exposed to a traumatic event such as assault or a major car crash.
This is one of the recommendations of the brand new Australian Guidelines for ASD and PTSD Treatment.
What are the others, and how strong is the research backing them up? ... Read more »
Salloum A, & Overstreet S. (2008) Evaluation of individual and group grief and trauma interventions for children post disaster. Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 37(3), 495-507. PMID: 18645741
Trowell J, Kolvin I, Weeramanthri T, Sadowski H, Berelowitz M, Glaser D, & Leitch I. (2002) Psychotherapy for sexually abused girls: psychopathological outcome findings and patterns of change. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 234-47. PMID: 11872516
Around the world, traumatic injury is one of the most common traumatic events, accounting for 9% of global mortality. Because of its high incidence, injuries cause millions of people to experience (temporary or permanent) disabilities including mental health problems. PTSD develops in 10-20% of injury patients. Therefore, prevention of PTSD has been mentioned by some as the holy grail of trauma research.... Read more »
Mouthaan J, Sijbrandij M, de Vries GJ, Reitsma JB, van de Schoot R, Goslings JC, Luitse JS, Bakker FC, Gersons BP, & Olff M. (2013) Internet-based early intervention to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder in injury patients: randomized controlled trial. Journal of medical Internet research, 15(8). PMID: 23942480
Imagine: you have just received a request to assess the mental health needs of the survivors of a large-scale disaster. What are your major challenges: Logistics? Resources? Communication? Getting an overview of who is in the area, who has been assessed, and who still needs to be? And if needs are identified, getting the appropriate services in place?
Probably all of the above. In addition, it may be dangerous to enter the disaster area altogether, for example due to radiation risk.
Theref........ Read more »
Ben-Ezra M, Palgi Y, Aviel O, Dubiner Y, Evelyn Baruch, Soffer Y, & Shrira A. (2013) Face it: Collecting mental health and disaster related data using Facebook vs. personal interview: The case of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Psychiatry research, 91-3. PMID: 23200780
When you were young(er), did you also engage in personality predictions with your peers based on order in the family? For example, that the oldest of three siblings would be the bossiest and the youngest the most spoiled? Almost everyone (90% of us) have one or more siblings. And we know they play an important role in our lives. Scientists have now combined international research examining siblings’ role in children’s mental health. ... Read more »
Buist KL, Deković M, & Prinzie P. (2013) Sibling relationship quality and psychopathology of children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Clinical psychology review, 33(1), 97-106. PMID: 23159327
Children younger than seven years of age obviously do not have the mature cognitive skills for causal reasoning, perspective taking, self-reflection, verbal expression, or autobiographical memory that would make cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) work smoothly. ... Read more »
Scheeringa, M., Weems, C., Cohen, J., Amaya-Jackson, L., & Guthrie, D. (2011) Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder in three-through six year-old children: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52(8), 853-860. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2010.02354.x
Sleep problems are a central component of posttraumatic stress, both in children and adults, with 72% experiencing nightmares. Imagery rehearsal (IR) therapy has a cognitive behavioral background and is used more and more to overcome sleep problems after trauma. How effective is IR? ... Read more »
Casement MD, & Swanson LM. (2012) A meta-analysis of imagery rehearsal for post-trauma nightmares: effects on nightmare frequency, sleep quality, and posttraumatic stress. Clinical psychology review, 566-74. PMID: 22819998
Australia 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? ... Read more »
Ranse, J., & Lenson, S. (2012) Beyond a clinical role: Nurses were psychosocial supporters, coordinators and problem solvers in the Black Saturday and Victorian bushfires in 2009. Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, 156-163. DOI: 10.1016/j.aenj.2012.05.001
The relationship between PTSD and co-occurring mental health conditions — such as depression, substance use, and general anxiety — has received much attention in the literature. However, it is equally important to consider the impact of PTSD on physical health functioning. Given the biological alterations associated with PTSD, individuals with this disorder may be vulnerable to the development of, or worsening of, certain physical health conditions.... Read more »
Pacella, M., Hruska, B., & Delahanty, D. (2012) The physical health consequences of PTSD and PTSD symptoms: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2012.08.004
How do children recover from Hurricane Sandy? And how can we help them? Here are some lessons learned from a study with 277 children after Hurricane Ike. ... Read more »
Lai BS, La Greca AM, Auslander BA, & Short MB. (2012) Children's symptoms of posttraumatic stress and depression after a natural disaster: Comorbidity and risk factors. Journal of affective disorders. PMID: 22974469
A man kills his wife in a moment of rage and flees the house while the children are still with their mother. A mother stabs her husband to death after years of domestic violence. These stories are barely imaginable but too often they happen in reality.... Read more »
Alisic, E.,, Van Schaijk, M.,, Groot, A.,, & Strijker-Kersten, H.A. (2012) Gevolgen van partnerdoding voor kinderen. Kind en Adolescent Praktijk, 142-144. info:/
The topic of this blogpost made the headlines in a shocking way this week when US Republican Todd Akin stated that women rarely get pregnant from rape because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin’s medieval assertions coincided with the publication of an essay in the Lancet that went in the very opposite direction...... Read more »
Emergency services and other high-risk organizations use peer support to help maintain the health of their people. A good idea?... Read more »
Creamer MC, Varker T, Bisson J, & et al. (2012) Guidelines for peer support in high-risk organizations: an international consensus study using the Delphi method. Journal of traumatic stress, 25(2), 134-41. PMID: 22522726
About 30% of us have an anxiety disorder at some point in our life... Most people never receive treatment. Self-help interventions may provide a solution but do these interventions work?... Read more »
Haug T, Nordgreen T, Öst LG, & Havik OE. (2012) Self-help treatment of anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis and meta-regression of effects and potential moderators. Clinical psychology review, 32(5), 425-45. PMID: 22681915
Last week, we had every reason to be shocked again about how cruel our world can be. The shooting in Aurora, Colorado, was in bizarre contrast with the fun evening that the movie goers expected to have. There was the one-year anniversary of Breivik’s attack in Norway. Our TVs screened ongoing, severe violence in Syria and other parts of the world. Not much reason to be optimistic, it seems.
However, the personality factor ‘optimism’ in itself may be an important asset when c........ Read more »
Hobfoll SE, Watson P, Bell CC, Bryant RA, Brymer MJ, Friedman MJ, Friedman M, Gersons BP, de Jong JT, Layne CM.... (2007) Five essential elements of immediate and mid-term mass trauma intervention: empirical evidence. Psychiatry, 70(4), 283. PMID: 18181708
Segovia, F., Moore,J.L., Linnville,S.E., Hoyt, R.E., & Hain, R.E. (2012) Optimism predicts resilience in repatriated prisoners of war: A 37-year longitudinal study. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 330-336. DOI: 10.1002/jts.21691
According to the current edition of the DSM, delayed Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) must be diagnosed in individuals fulfilling criteria for PTSD if the onset of symptoms is at least 6 months after the trauma. The prevalence of delayed PTSD has for a long time remained unclear, and only few studies have examined factors that may explain its occurrence.... Read more »
Smid GE, Mooren TT, van der Mast RC, Gersons BP, & Kleber RJ. (2009) Delayed posttraumatic stress disorder: systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression analysis of prospective studies. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 70(11), 1572-82. PMID: 19607763
It’s the question Richard McNally, an eminent PTSD scholar, posed in Science earlier this month. The journal devoted a special issue to human conflict and McNally zoomed in on PTSD after combat duty. His comments are worth sharing and have implications that go beyond the military:... Read more »
McNally, R. (2012) Are We Winning the War Against Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?. Science, 336(6083), 872-874. DOI: 10.1126/science.1222069
Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are particularly vulnerable to trauma exposure due to their stage of development. Young children interact with their environment before they become aware of potential dangers and threat, are strongly reliant on adults to keep them safe and have limited skills to protect themselves. As a result, young children typically fall within the highest risk category for exposure to sexual and physical abuse, unintentional injury and witnessing domestic violence.... Read more »
De Young, A., Kenardy, J., & Cobham, V. (2011) Diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Preschool Children. Journal of Clinical Child , 40(3), 375-384. DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2011.563474
De Young, A., Kenardy, J., Cobham, V., & Kimble, R. (2012) Prevalence, comorbidity and course of trauma reactions in young burn-injured children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53(1), 56-63. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02431.x
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 therapy and the number of children dropping out of treatment seems to be even higher. ... Read more »
Miller, L., Southam-Gerow, M., & Allin, R. (2008) Who Stays in Treatment? Child and Family Predictors of Youth Client Retention in a Public Mental Health Agency. Child , 37(4), 153-170. DOI: 10.1007/s10566-008-9058-2
Saxe, G., Heidi Ellis, B., Fogler, J., & Navalta, C. (2012) Innovations in Practice: Preliminary evidence for effective family engagement in treatment for child traumatic stress-trauma systems therapy approach to preventing dropout. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 17(1), 58-61. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-3588.2011.00626.x
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