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The Process

What questions are we asking?

It is hypothesized that the checklist of symptoms will show differences in symptom clusters in children and adolescents based on the type of trauma sustained by the participants.

It is hypothesized that there will be a reduction in post-traumatic stress symptoms reported by participants post-intervention, and further reduction 6-months post-treatment.

  1. 1. Do children who suffer different types of trauma show different symptom presentations?

  2. 2. Can the more long-lasting symptoms of trauma be treated and reduced by using a group-therapy approach?

  3. 3. Will children, depending on the type of trauma sustained, respond to the treatment differently?

  4. 4. Do the more general symptoms such as depression and anxiety improve as the child learns new skills to cope with their post-trauma symptoms?

  5. 5. Are group therapy treatment modalities conducive to sustained improvement of symptom presentations over a long period of time?

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What symptoms are we treating?

Module 1: Sleep disturbance

Module 2: Hyperarousal

Module 3: Flashbacks/Repetitive behaviour

Module 4: Avoidance behaviour

What format will the treatment be in?

Each module will run for 3 weeks. The modules will be run alternately, and if required can be run at different sites of the Eastern Health CAMHS.

The groups will be "closed" groups, thus once a module has started, a participant will be required to go into the wait-list control group so as not to disrupt the group already started.

Ideally, participants will be classified into treatment groups depending on the type of trauma the child/adolescent has sustained as indicated by the trauma-checklist developed by the research. However, dependent upon sample recruitment, subjects may be randomly allocated to groups with a mixture of different types of trauma.

Groups will be split for age level, with 8-12 years and 13-16 years groups run separately. Additionally, there will be no more than 6-7 members in a group at any one time.

Why group treatment?

Group treatment provides a cost-effective approach to treating greater numbers of trauma symptom sufferers over a minimal amount of time. As natural groupings exist in schools and communities, it makes sense to direct some therapeutic support through groups.

What will the treatment consist of?

Each module will have three components (sessions):

  • i. Psychoeducation about the symptom

  • ii. Cognitive-behavioural treatment relevant to that symptom

  • iii. Review and follow-up session

  • Who will be facilitating the groups?

    The groups will be facilitated by Megan Dobbie (B.Sc.,(Hons) Psychology, Student D.Psych), and another experienced clinician currently employed by Eastern Health CAMHS.

    Eastern Health Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
    Involvement of Clinicians

    Participants will be recruited through referrals from clinicians employed by Eastern Health CAMHS. This research aims to provide Eastern Health CAMHS a special treatment approach for children and adolescents with symptoms of trauma as an adjunct to their individual treatment. Thus, we aim to provide the clinicians with another option for treatment of their clients. Ideally, these groups will continue to be available even after the research has been completed through Eastern Health CAMHS.

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