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Child Abuse Negl. 2001 Jan;25(1):123-35.

Treatment practices for childhood posttraumatic stress disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Allegheny General Hospital, MCP Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Four Allegheny Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, USA.



This study surveyed practices in treating childhood PTSD among child psychiatrists and non-M.D. therapists with self-identified interest in treating traumatized children.


An anonymous survey was mailed to 207 child psychiatrists ("medical") and 460 nonphysician ("non-medical") therapists inquiring about current interventions used to treat children with PTSD.


Two hundred and forty-seven responses were received: of 77 medical and 82 nonmedical respondents who currently treat children with PTSD, a wide variety of modalities are used. Most preferred modalities among medical responders were pharmacotherapy, psychodynamic, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Most preferred modalities among nonmedical respondents were cognitive-behavioral, family, and nondirective play therapy. Ninety-five percent of medical respondents used pharmacotherapy for this disorder; most preferred medications to treat childhood PTSD were selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and alpha-adrenergic agonists. Several significant differences between medical and nonmedical practices were identified.


There is little clinical consensus regarding the effectiveness of the many modalities used to treat traumatized children who have PTSD symptoms; empirical research is particularly needed to evaluate the efficacy of pharmacotherapy and EMDR.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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