Reduced psychiatric symptoms at 6 and 12 months’ follow-up of psychotherapeutic and psychoeducative group interventions for children exposed to intimate partner violence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Long-term follow-up studies of interventions for children exposed to intimate partner violence are few, and the sustainability of their outcomes often remains unexplored and uncertain. Current research including follow-up assessment suggests that treatment gains may be maintained or continue post termination. In addition some children may show increased levels of symptoms. Objective: The present effectiveness study investigated the long-term outcomes of two established group interventions for children exposed to intimate partner violence and their non-offending parent. Participants and Setting: The study included 50 children, 24 girls and 26 boys, aged 4 to 13 years attending a psychotherapeutic child and adolescent mental health service intervention and a psychoeducative community-based intervention. Methods: Background information, child and parental mental health problems, trauma symptoms, and exposure to violence were assessed pre- and post treatment and at 6 and 12 months’ follow-up. Results: Sustained treatment gains and late improvements in children's internalizing and externalizing symptoms and in symptoms of traumatic stress were recorded from post treatment to the follow-up assessments (p =.004–.044; d = 0.29–0.67). No significant increase in symptoms was reported. Additionally, very little continued or renewed child exposure to violence was reported. Conclusions: The results of the study indicate that the children did benefit from the two interventions studied and that the outcomes of reduced child symptoms and protection from exposure to violence were sustainable. Children with severe trauma symptoms benefited the most, though maternal psychological problems may for some have hindered recovery. Clinical implications are discussed.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Linnaeus University
  • Karlstad University
  • Region Kronoberg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychiatry

Keywords

  • Children, Follow-up, Group intervention, Intimate partner violence, Post-traumatic stress, Treatment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-238
Number of pages11
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume93
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes