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Long-term treatment effect of trauma-affected refugees with flexible cognitive behavioural therapy and antidepressants

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Few studies exist on the long-term effect of treatment of trauma-affected refugees. The purpose of this study was to estimate the long-term treatment effects of cognitive behavioural therapy and antidepressants (sertraline and mianserin) in trauma-affected refugees. Follow-ups were conducted 6 and 18 months after a randomised controlled clinical trial. The included patients were refugees with war-related traumatic experiences, PTSD and without psychotic disorders. We found a small improvement over time in PTSD, depression and anxiety symptoms and level of functioning, but the improvement was not associated with any specific treatment. Personality change after catastrophic experiences and life events influenced the symptom level at all follow-ups while depression at completion of treatment was associated with a steeper decline in symptom load at the follow-ups. In spite of the limited decline in symptom scores and treatment effects immediately after treatment, the condition of the treated trauma-affected refugees was significantly improved 6 and 18 months after treatment although the improvement was small.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume264
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
ISSN0165-1781
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

ID: 55368317