The data behind the dissemination: A systematic review of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for use with children and youth
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is one of the most widely disseminated mental health interventions for children and youth. The purpose of this study is to systematically review the evidence of TF-CBT's ability to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression and behavior problems in children and youth who have survived trauma. A search was conducted to locate studies that evaluated TF-CBT or interventions highly similar to TF-CBT. Ten studies (twelve articles) were selected for inclusion in three sets of meta-analyses. Findings were consistent amongst meta-analyses; pooled estimates were similar whether we were analyzing the effects of interventions that were highly similar to TF-CBT, or if we were exclusively analyzing the effects of the branded intervention. Results show that there is a significant difference between the TFCBT condition and comparison conditions in its ability to reduce symptoms of PTSD (g=.671), depression (g=.378) and behavior problems (g=.247) immediately after treatment completion. This difference held for PTSD at twelve months after treatment completion (.389) but did not hold for depression or behavior problems. There was not a significant difference between the TF-CBT condition and alternative active control conditions immediately after treatment completion. Therefore, TF-CBT is an effective intervention for the treatment of PTSD in youth.
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- Littell, Julia H., 2005. "Lessons from a systematic review of effects of multisystemic therapy," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 445-463, April.
- Henggeler, Scott W. & Schoenwald, Sonja K. & Borduin, Charles M. & Swenson, Cynthia C., 2006. "Methodological critique and meta-analysis as Trojan horse," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 447-457, April.
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