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Psychother Psychosom. 2009;78(5):298-306. doi: 10.1159/000229768. Epub 2009 Jul 24.

Narrative exposure therapy versus interpersonal psychotherapy. A pilot randomized controlled trial with Rwandan genocide orphans.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany. susanne.schaal@uni-konstanz.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of treatment modules for trauma spectrum disorders in a sample of Rwandan genocide orphans.

METHODS:

Twenty-six orphans (originally 27) who presented with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at first assessment continued to meet a PTSD DSM-IV diagnosis 6 months after their initial assessment. They were offered participation in a controlled treatment trial. A group adaptation of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT, n = 14) was compared to individual narrative exposure therapy (NET, n = 12). The last NET session involved guided mourning. Each treatment program consisted of 4 weekly sessions. Main outcome measures were diagnostic status and symptoms of PTSD and depression assessed before treatment, at 3 months post-test and at 6 months follow-up using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and Hamilton Rating Scale.

RESULTS:

At post-test, there were no significant group differences between NET and IPT on any of the examined outcome measures. At 6-month follow-up, only 25% of NET, but 71% of IPT participants still fulfilled PTSD criteria. There was a significant time x treatment interaction in the severity of PTSD [Wilks' Lambda = 0.75, F(2,23) = 3.93; p < 0.05] and depression symptoms [Wilks' Lambda = 0.23, F(2,23) = 3.40; p = 0.05]. At follow-up, NET participants were significantly more improved than IPT participants with respect to both the severity of symptoms of PTSD and depression.

CONCLUSIONS:

Individual NET in combination with group-based mourning comprises an effective treatment for traumatized survivors who have to bear the loss of loved ones and have been suffering from symptoms of PTSD and depression.

Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID:
19628958
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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