This study was designed to test the feasibility and child clinical outcomes for group-based trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy (TF-CBT) for orphaned children in Tanzania. There were 64 children with at least mild symptoms of grief and/or traumatic stress and their guardians who participated in this open trial. The TF-CBT for Child Traumatic Grief protocol was adapted for use with a group, resulting in 12 weekly sessions for children and guardians separately with conjoint activities and 3 individual visits with child and guardian. Using a task-sharing approach, the intervention was delivered by lay counselors with no prior mental health experience. Primary child outcomes assessed were symptoms of grief and posttraumatic stress (PTS); secondary outcomes included symptoms of depression and overall behavioral adjustment. All assessments were conducted pretreatment, posttreatment, and 3 and 12 months after the end of treatment. Results showed improved scores on all outcomes posttreatment, sustained at 3 and 12 months. Effect sizes (Cohen's d) for baseline to posttreatment were 1.36 for child reported grief symptoms, 1.87 for child-reported PTS, and 1.15 for guardian report of child PTS.
Copyright © 2014 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.