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Child Abuse Negl. 1999 Jan;23(1):31-44.

The efficacy of group treatment for survivors of childhood abuse.

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Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



To assess the effectiveness of a new model of group treatment for sexual abuse survivors over individual therapy alone.


In this quasi-experimental design, 32 women were in either group treatment (N = 22) or a wait-list comparison group (N = 10). They completed standardized measures on depression, self-esteem, and trauma symptomatology at pretest and after completing the 10 to 12 week group. All were in concurrent individual therapy.


On average, both groups of women decreased depression and trauma symptoms as well as increased self-esteem. However, the clients in the treatment group improved their depression and anxiety to a statistically significantly greater degree than clients in the wait-list comparison condition. Improvement approaching statistical significance was found in levels of self-esteem in the treatment as compared to the wait-list condition.


The group intervention was significantly more effective than individual treatment alone on depression and anxiety. The inclusion of the wait-list comparison group was critical in interpreting the improvement noted by all of the women in treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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