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Nervenarzt. 2005 May;76(5):546-56.

[Diagnosis and therapy of post-traumatic stress disorders in childhood and adolescence. Responsibilities of the child and adolescent psychiatric trauma outpatient clinic].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und -psychotherapie, Aachen.


This article presents an overview of the etiology, clinical characteristics, assessment, and treatment of PTSD in children and adolescents. Diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV and ICD-10 for PTSD in adults may not adequately describe this disorder especially in toddlers and preschool children, because specific PTSD symptoms may vary according to the developmental stage of the child. Prevalence of PTSD in adolescence is similar to that in adulthood. Children who exhibit high degrees of psychopathology before traumatic exposure, who are exposed to high levels of trauma for an extended period, or who directly experienced the event face a high risk to develop PTSD and other later adverse outcomes. Parental support and other social factors also emerge as strong predictors of differential risk among traumatized children. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a well-assessed intervention strategy recommended for children and adolescents with PTSD while there are no controlled trials of pharmacological treatments. The outpatient clinic for traumatized children and adolescents of the University Clinic of Aachen is introduced and clinical characteristics of children seeking help are described. In addition, the social network and cooperating services are illustrated.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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