Treating maladaptive grief and posttraumatic stress symptoms in orphaned children in Tanzania: group-based trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • O'Donnell, K; Dorsey, S; Gong, W; Ostermann, J; Whetten, R; Cohen, JA; Itemba, D; Manongi, R; Whetten, K

Published Date

  • December 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 664 - 671

PubMed ID

  • 25418514

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4591025

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6598

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0894-9867

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/jts.21970


  • eng