How to help war-affected children and adolescents: the role of memory functions in therapeutic intervention
Kesto: 2014- 2017
Rahoittaja: Suomen Akatemia
Johtaja: Kirsi Peltonen
Muut tutkijat: Samuli Kangaslampi, Ferdinand Garoff, Raija-Leena Punamäki
This study will analyze the effectiveness of trauma intervention called Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) in improving childrens and adolescents’ mental health, as well as the mechanisms that contribute to recovery from war trauma. The work will be conducted at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities in the unit of Psychology, University of Tampere.
The participants are 80 children and adolescents (9–17 years of age) who attend NET– intervention or treatment as usual. The sample will be collected among all eligible children and adolescents who are clients of (a) the Family Counseling Center (City of Tampere) (b) Psychiatric Clinic of traumatized children (Tampere University Hospital) or d) The Centre for Torture Survivors (Helsinki Deaconess Institute). A sequential procedure will be applied to the data collection.
Because of the treatment queue (existed in all units), all participants will first be placed under waiting-list conditions for approximately three months (control situation I, n=80). After that, the participants will be randomly assigned to either ‘treatment as usual’ group OR the ‘NET intervention’ group. Before the intervention or ‘treatment as usual,’ the (T1) data will be collected from all participants. The (T1) data will serve as a follow-up measurement for the control situation I and as a baseline measurement for the NET intervention and treatment as usual situation (control situation II). The (T2) data will be collected once during the NET/treatment as usual. This will enable the analysis of mediating mechanisms. The post-test data (T3) will be collected from participants in both groups right after the intervention and the follow-up data (T4) at the joint family meeting, three months after the intervention. The procedure will be continued until the sample size reaches 80, which corresponds to the power analysis requirements for the study questions. Data about adolescents’ mental health (PTSD, depression, and psychological distress), memory functions (traumatic memory and autobiographical memory), and trauma-related cognitions will be collected at all measurement points.
The first wave of NET-training was completed at 10/2014, followed by the start-up of data collection in all participating units.
Kangaslampi, Samuli; Garoff, Ferdinand & Peltonen, Kirsi (2015) Narrative exposure therapy for immigrant children traumatized by war: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial of effectiveness and mechanisms of change. BMC Psychiatry 2015, 15:127.