BACKGROUND: Children and adolescents who experience traumatic events may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is often associated with other psychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is widely used in psychotherapy to treat PTSD in children and adolescents. This meta-analysis evaluated previous studies on the effectiveness of CBT in the treatment of PTSD in children and adolescents.
METHODS: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published before July 25, 2021, were retrieved from seven databases. All RCTs of CBT compared to control, including conventional treatment or other treatments, in children or adolescents with PTSD. Random effect models were employed for all outcomes. Risk of bias was performed by Cochrane Collaboration's tool. The publication bias was evaluated using the Egger's regression analysis.
RESULTS: Nineteen RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. Compared with control, CBT was effective in reducing the symptoms of PTSD in children and adolescents, with a variety of scales used to measure the overall PTSD symptoms: CAPS (SMD = -0.41, 95%CI [-0.71, -0.12]), CPSS (SMD = -0.88, 95%CI [-1.42, -0.34]) and UCLA-PTSD RI (SMD = -1.70, 95%CI [-2.98, -0.42]). Furthermore, CBT also improved the comorbidities of depression (SMD = -0.43, 95%CI [-0.70, -0.17]) and anxiety (SMD = -0.29, 95%CI [-0.56, -0.03]) associated with PTSD. However, CBT was not effective in reducing avoidance symptoms (SMD = 0.38, 95%CI [-0.55, 1.31]).
CONCLUSION: CBT can reduce the severity of PTSD in children and adolescents and improve the symptoms of depression and anxiety, as evident in the treatment of PTSD victims of sexual abuse and war and in patients aged more than 7 years.
Oversett med Google Translate