Developmentally adapted cognitive processing therapy (D-CPT) may be beneficial for adolescents and young adults with abuse-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These findings were published in Child Abuse & Neglect.
This study analyzed follow-up data from a multicenter, 2-armed randomized clinical trial conducted in Germany. Individuals aged 14 to 21 years with childhood abuse-related PTSD were randomly assigned to receive D-CPT or waitlist with treatment advice. For this study, participants in the intervention arm (N=44) were contacted at 6 and 12 months after the end of treatment and evaluated for PTSD severity symptoms using the Clinician-administered PTSD Scale for Children and Adolescents (CAPS-CA).
A total of 28 individuals participated in the 6- and/or 12-month follow-up. The participants were a mean age of 17.9 (SD, 2.4) years, 92.8% were girls or women, they had attempted suicide 0.93 (SD, 2.4) times previously, and baseline CAPS-CA score was 66.54 (SD, 19.56) points. The individuals who participated in the follow-up did not differ significantly for any baseline characteristics compared with those lost to follow-up.
The CAPS-CA score at posttreatment was 24.7 (95% CI, 16.6-32.7) points and at 3 months posttreatment was 25.9 (95% CI, 16.2-35.6) points. At the 6-month follow-up, CAPS-CA remained stable at 24.1 (95% CI, 12.8-35.4) points with an effect size of 1.59. At 12 months, CAPS-CA score had decreased to 19.7 (95% CI, 10.0-29.4) points and an effect size of 1.97.
Similar trends were observed for secondary outcomes, indicating a stable reduction in PTSD and related symptoms over time.
In the intention to treat analysis, at posttreatment 45.5% of patients achieved symptom remission and at the 3-month follow-up, 50% were in remission. The remission rate was significantly higher than the control group at 3 months (χ2, 8.19; P <.01). Among the participants at 6 months, 50% were in remission dropping to 38.6% at 12 months.
For the per protocol analysis, the remission rates were 78.5% and 77.3% at 6 and 12 months, respectively.
The major limitation of this study was the small sample size, which may limit generalizability.
Study authors concluded, “Our results are in line with previous findings that show a stability of treatment gains of CBT interventions for youth who experienced child sexual abuse and underline that D-CPT is an effective treatment to treat a variety of psychological difficulties following child sexual abuse.”
Disclosure: Multiple authors declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures.
Steil R, Weiss J, Rimane E, Renneberg B, Rosner R. Long term efficacy of developmentally adapted cognitive processing therapy in youth with abuse related PTSD — follow-up of a randomized control trial. Child Abuse Negl. 2022;132:105808. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2022.105808