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J Trauma Stress. 2010 Apr;23(2):223-31. doi: 10.1002/jts.20518.

Children's mental health care following Hurricane Katrina: a field trial of trauma-focused psychotherapies.

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  • 1RAND Corporation, 1200 South Hayes Street, Arlington, Virginia 22202, USA.


New Orleans school children participated in an assessment and field trial of two interventions 15 months after Hurricane Katrina. Children (N = 195) reported on hurricane exposure, lifetime trauma exposure, peer and parent support, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depressive symptoms. Teachers reported on behavior. At baseline, 60.5% screened positive for PTSD symptoms and were offered a group intervention at school or individual treatment at a mental health clinic. Uptake of the mental health care was uneven across intervention groups, with 98% beginning the school intervention, compared to 37% beginning at the clinic. Both treatments led to significant symptom reduction of PTSD symptoms, but many still had elevated PTSD symptoms at posttreatment. Implications for future postdisaster mental health work are discussed.

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