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.