Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common mental illness that affects an increasing number of people across the United States. However, many of them decide to stay untreated due to lack of awareness about the disorder. Now, preliminary support for acceptability of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been found by researchers as an early treatment option for children and adolescents suffering from PTSD.
According to the study published recently in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, the effectiveness of the treatment depends on the timing of CBT as the results don’t support waiting more than two months post trauma. The researchers found that a significantly higher number of individuals receiving CBT for PTSD immediately after the event were free of the disorder compared to those put on a waitlist or those whose treatments started after two months.
Richard Meiser-Stedman from the Medical Research Council, Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, along with his colleagues, recruited about 29 youths suffering from PTSD after a trauma in the past two to six months and randomly assigned them to either CBT or a 10-week waiting list. The study led to the conclusion that 71 percent of those individuals assigned to CBT no longer suffered from PTSD compared to 27 percent of those put on the 10-week waitlist.
The study also produced the following results:
- Recovery was maintained for a period of six to 12 months post the cognitive therapy.
- The participants undergoing CBT showed changes in terms of developing safety seeking behavior and in their appraisals.
- CBT for youths suffering from PTSD was found as an acceptable treatment method because of less dropouts and high credibility for the treatment and therapist ratings.
A first in a series of yet to be conducted researches on PTSD treatment options for the youth, this study established credibility for CBT treatment for children with PTSD within two to six months post-trauma. Only 33 percent of the youth in the group waitlisted for 10 weeks experienced significant improvements, which indicates although some recovery did happen, the most likely option for adolescents diagnosed after two to six months of the trauma is treatment.
Limitations of research
While the study establishes cognitive therapy as a powerful method of early treatment for children and adolescents suffering from PTSD, further research is required to understand how the treatment can be delivered in the perfect time frame and with more cost effectiveness. One limitation of the study was the limited sample size of only 29 individuals, also with imbalance in the socio-economic characters and ethnicity, which might have led to bias creeping into the study.
Future research should definitely recruit a much larger and diverse group in order to arrive at significant conclusions about the usage of cognitive therapy for the youth, the best time frame for treatments and the group which experienced most benefit out of the process.
Road to recovery
PTSD is a serious problem, but it can be treated with the right kind of intervention. Sovereign Health offers its patients neurofeedback treatment. A promising new technique, neurofeedback helps patients struggling with PTSD and other forms of mental illnesses.
At Sovereign Health, we provide state-of-the-art and evidence-based treatment for PTSD along with other mental health disorders. Contact the Sovereign Health to know about our various mental health treatment programs. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with our representatives to know about our finest mental health facilities in Los Angeles and mental health facilities in California.