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, 18 (1), 288

Prolonged Exposure Therapy and Supportive Counselling for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adolescents in a Community-Based Sample, Including Experiences of Stakeholders: Study Protocol for a Comparative Randomized Controlled Trial Using Task-Shifting

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Prolonged Exposure Therapy and Supportive Counselling for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adolescents in a Community-Based Sample, Including Experiences of Stakeholders: Study Protocol for a Comparative Randomized Controlled Trial Using Task-Shifting

Jaco Rossouw et al. BMC Psychiatry.

Abstract

Background: There is a dearth of empirical evidence on the effectiveness of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for adolescents with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in developing countries. The primary aim of the study is to examine the effects of prolonged exposure therapy compared with supportive counseling for adolescents with PTSD delivered by nurses trained as counselors.

Methods/design: A single-blind randomized clinical trial comprising 90 adolescents with PTSD using a permuted block design will be utilized. Nurses previously naïve to prolonged exposure and supportive counselling will be trained to provide these treatments at the adolescents' high schools. Data collection will last from March 2014 to December 2017 and annually thereafter, dependent on the availability of funding. Participants will receive seven to fourteen 60 min sessions of prolonged exposure treatment (n = 45) or supportive counselling (n = 45). All assessments will be conducted before treatment, at mid-treatment, immediately after treatment completion, at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up, and annually thereafter. It is hypothesized that PE-A will be superior to SC in reducing PTSD symptoms at post-treatment as measured by the CPSS-I administered by an independent evaluator. It is further hypothesized that PE-A treatment gains will be maintained at 3-, 6- and 12-month follow-ups and annually thereafter.

Discussion: While early indications are that PE-A is an effective treatment for PTSD in adolescents, this study will help determine the effectiveness of PE-A in a South African, community setting (school-based) when task-shifted to nurses, as compared to SC.

Trial registration: Pan African Clinical Trials Registry: PACTR201511001345372 , retrospectively registered 11 November 2015.

Keywords: Posttraumatic stress disorder; Prolonged exposure; Randomized controlled trial; Supportive counselling; Task-shifting; Treatment outcome.

Conflict of interest statement

Ethics approval and consent to participate

This study has been approved by the Health Research Ethics Committee at Stellenbosch University (N12/06/031) and will be conducted according to the ethical guidelines and principles of the international Declaration of Helsinki, South African Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Ethical Guidelines for Research.

Permission was also obtained from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to offer treatment at the participants’ schools. Permission from the WCED was conditional on not disclosing the identities of the participating schools.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Study Consort Diagram, Consort diagram

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