Long-term course in female survivors of childhood abuse after psychodynamically oriented, trauma-specific inpatient treatment: a naturalistic two-year follow-up

Z Psychosom Med Psychother. 2014;60(3):267-82. doi: 10.13109/zptm.2014.60.3.267.


Objectives: This study examined the long-term course of 43 female survivors of childhood abuse after receiving inpatient treatment based on psychodynamic-orientated trauma therapy.

Methods: Data on symptom load was assessed at admission, discharge and two-year follow-up. Further information on post-discharge treatment and life events in the follow-up period was collected.

Results: At two-year follow-up global symptom load (GSI), PTSD, depression (d = 0.43-0.57) and self-soothing ability (d = 0.72) were significantly improved compared to the admission status with no change in dissociative symptoms. 40% of the sample showed good long-term outcome (clinical significant change, GSI) with a significant reduction in depressive, dissociative and by trend in PTSD symptoms. There were no group differences in the amount of stressful life-events and treatment in the follow-up period. Patients with good outcome showed more previous inpatient treatment.

Conclusions: Inpatient treatment leads to a significant symptom reduction in women with severe childhood abuse. The treatment effects remain stable for two years under further outpatient psychotherapy.

Keywords: Childhood Abuse; Inpatient Treatment; Psychodynamic Orientated Trauma Therapy; Two-year Follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / diagnosis
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology*
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology
  • Dissociative Disorders / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Long-Term Care
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Assessment
  • Psychotherapy, Psychodynamic / methods*
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*