44 posts · 39,097 views
A blog about traumatic exposure, posttraumatic stress, and recovery. With a particular focus on children.
Imagine a 7-year old boy living in India. One day, his father gets drunk and kills his mother. The boy is a witness to the homicide, and develops a high fever as a response. Imagine you’re the mental health professional who is called to support the boy. Some of the things you would want to know are how children in India respond to severe trauma, what words they use, and what helps them to recover.
Unfortunately, that information is virtually nonexistent. T... Read more »
Fodor, K., Unterhitzenberger, J., Chou, C., Kartal, D., Leistner, S., Milosavljevic, M., Nocon, A., Soler, L., White, J., Yoo, S.... (2014) Is traumatic stress research global? A bibliometric analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. DOI: 10.3402/ejpt.v5.23269
The plane crash in Ukraine brings up many questions related to loss and grief. How will those left behind cope with the devastating event? How can we support them? With regard to how young people cope with bereavement, Dr. Mariken Spuij’s recent articles provide new insights.... Read more »
Spuij M, Prinzie P, Dekovic M, van den Bout J, & Boelen PA. (2013) The effectiveness of Grief-Help, a cognitive behavioural treatment for prolonged grief in children: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 395. PMID: 24252587
How many children develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder after a traumatic experience such as an assault, a car crash, war or disaster? William Yule – one of the godfathers of child traumatic stress research – once pointed out that rates reported in separate studies varied from 0 to 100%. So what is the average rate to be expected? And are there differences between types of trauma? ... Read more »
Yule W. (2001) Posttraumatic stress disorder in the general population and in children. The Journal of clinical psychiatry. PMID: 11495092
Alisic E, Zalta AK, van Wesel F, Larsen SE, Hafstad GS, Hassanpour K, & Smid GE. (2014) Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder in trauma-exposed children and adolescents: meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 335-340. PMID: 24785767
Childhood cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was and survival rates are currently around 80%. How are survivors affected by their experience and how does it impact on their family? Lifetime prevalence of cancer-related PTSD has been estimated at 20-35% in survivors.
New research challenges these estimates, drawing attention to the 'focusing illusion'... Read more »
Phipps, Klosky, Long, Hudson, Huang, Zhang, & Noll, R. (2014) Posttraumatic Stress and Psychological Growth in Children With Cancer: Has the Traumatic Impact of Cancer Been Overestimated?. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 641-646. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2013.49.8212
Lund, Winther, Dalton, Cederkvist, Jeppesen, Deltour, Hargreave, M., Kjær, S., Jensen, A., Rechnitzer, C.... (2013) Hospital contact for mental disorders in survivors of childhood cancer and their siblings in Denmark: a population-based cohort study. The Lancet Oncology, 971-980. DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70351-6
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
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