Why is this research important?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment that aims to change how people think and remember things, which in turns helps people to feel less anxious or sad. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT) is specifically designed to help individuals overcome their distress following a frightening event. It is recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence for adults with PTSD, but we do not yet know if it is helpful for children and young people who have been in a recent trauma. TF-CBT is a psychological talking therapy and does not involve any medication.
What are the possible benefits of participating?
The main benefit to children who do have PTSD is that they will be offered psychological treatment (trauma-focussed cognitive behavioural therapy). Even participants who are assigned to wait for 12 weeks will receive this treatment (if they still have PTSD) sooner than they may receive help from their local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
Children who do not have PTSD will still have a thorough assessment. The children and parents involved in previous studies have appreciated being followed up by the team and being provided with the opportunity to discuss the trauma in a non-judgemental, confidential and empathetic setting.
What are the possible risks of participating?
There are no known risks associated with the study. However the treatment involves talking about the frightening event, and this can sometimes be upsetting. Other studies have shown that the treatment works well and treats PTSD in older children and adults. We have found previously that any distress experienced during therapy is short-lived and outweighed by the benefit of successfully completing treatment for PTSD.
Participants will be given breaks whenever they need them, and the pace of the therapy is tailored to the individuals need. Clinical Psychologists within the team will be available for follow-up phone calls and meetings with people who need them.
What if we don’t live in Cambridge?
Our research clinic is based at the Herchel Smith Building, which is on the Addenbrooke’s hospital site. However, we can still take on children and young people who live outside of Cambridge. If you live elsewhere in Cambridgeshire, or in Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, North Essex or Bedfordshire, then we may be able to see your child in your local GP surgery or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services clinic. Do get in touch and we will discuss how we might proceed.
Do I have to participate?
No, it is completely up to you and your child whether you decide to take part. If you do decide to take part and then later change your mind for any reason you can stop participating in the project at any time. Should you decide to do so, you will not be treated any differently by any NHS service.
Have any other questions?
Please get in touch with either Ben or Isobel:
|Dr Ben Goodall||Isobel Chadwick|
|Clinical Psychologist and Trial Co-ordinator||Assistant Psychologist|
|01223 760 673||01223 760 686|