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
1 vivo Uganda, Mbarara, Uganda
2 Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda
3 University of Konstanz, Centre for Psychiatry Reichenau, Haus 22, Feursteinstr. 55, D-78479 Reichenau-Lindenbühl, Germany
BMC Psychiatry 2005, 5:7 doi:10.1186/1471-244X-5-7Published: 3 February 2005
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.
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.
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.
NET may be safe and effective to treat children with war related PTSD in the setting of refugee settlements in developing countries.