Narrative Exposure Therapy as a treatment for child war survivors with posttraumatic stress disorder: Two case reports and a pilot study in an African refugee settlement

Onyut, Lamaro P.; Neuner, Frank; Schauer, Elisabeth; Ertl, Verena; Odenwald, Michael; Schauer, Maggie; Elbert, Thomas
January 2005
BMC Psychiatry;2005, Vol. 5, p7
Academic Journal
Background: Little data exists on the effectiveness of psychological interventions for children with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that has resulted from exposure to war or conflict-related violence, especially in non-industrialized countries. We created and evaluated the efficacy of KIDNET, a child-friendly version of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), as a short-term treatment for children. Methods: Six Somali children suffering from PTSD aged 12-17 years resident in a refugee settlement in Uganda were treated with four to six individual sessions of KIDNET by expert clinicians. Symptoms of PTSD and depression were assessed pre-treatment, post-treatment and at nine months follow-up using the CIDI Sections K and E. Results: Important symptom reduction was evident immediately after treatment and treatment outcomes were sustained at the 9-month follow-up. All patients completed therapy, reported functioning gains and could be helped to reconstruct their traumatic experiences into a narrative with the use of illustrative material. Conclusions: NET may be safe and effective to treat children with war related PTSD in the setting of refugee settlements in developing countries.


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