Information for Parents/Carers

What is PYCES?pyces1

PYCES stands for Parents and Young Children under Extreme Stress. The PYCES study is looking at how young children (3-8 years) feel after frightening experiences like road traffic accidents or violence.

We are doing this study to find out more about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is a condition which some people develop after being involved in or witnessing a frightening event. The symptoms of PTSD are upsetting – they can include nightmares, flashbacks, anger outbursts and patterns of play that are characteristically different to before the event. Other studies have shown that only a certain number of children, 10-15%, exposed to a traumatic event develop PTSD. However, if left untreated, it can be very disruptive for the child for a number of years.

We are testing a new form of therapy for children who have PTSD. The treatment is called Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT). Children who enter the trial will be randomly assigned to receive the therapy straight away or to wait for 12 weeks. This is to help us find out whether the treatment works, as we can compare children who are having therapy to those who are waiting. All children who still have PTSD at the end of their wait will be offered the therapy.

Who can participate?

Any child aged 3-8 years who has been involved in or witnessed a traumatic event like a car crash or an assault and is experiencing distress. It does not matter how long ago the event happened, it could have been very recently or years ago.

What does the study involve?

As PYCES is a research study, we require parents and children to complete assessments at various points.  The assessments consist of are interviews and questionnaires for parents, and tasks for children.  It is really important that the measures are completed, as they let us know how your child is doing and also whether the therapy is beneficial.  Small payments are made to parents for completing these to thank them for their time and effort.

Please see the Parent Information Sheet for more details, or have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you would like to discuss the trial with your child, we have put together a Child Information Sheet to help you explain to your child how they could benefit from taking part in the study.

Who is running the study?

PYCES is run from the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge.  The team is made up of mostly Clinical Psychologists and associated research staff.  This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research as part of their Research for Patient Benefit Programme.  It has received ethical approval from ­NRES Committee East of England – Cambridge South (study number 12/EE/0458).

I know a young child who is feeling anxious after a recent trauma. Could you help them?

The best thing to do is get in touch with us!  We are always happy to talk to anyone about taking part in the PYCES study.  We will refer you to the appropriate source of help if we are not best placed to meet your needs.

You can contact either Ben or Isobel:

Dr Ben Goodall
Clinical Psychologist and Trial Co-ordinator
01223 760 673





Please do contact us with any questions that you or your child have!



Forvie Site, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, CB2 0QQ

Tel:01223 355294
DL:01223 273779

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