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Efficacy and moderators of efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapies with a trauma focus in children and adolescents: an individual participant data meta-analysis of randomised trials

de Haan, A; Meiser-Stedman, R; Landolt, MA; Kuhn, I; Black, MJ; Klaus, K; Patel, SD; ... Dalgleish, T; + view all (2023) Efficacy and moderators of efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapies with a trauma focus in children and adolescents: an individual participant data meta-analysis of randomised trials. The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health 10.1016/S2352-4642(23)00253-5. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Existing clinical trials of cognitive behavioural therapies with a trauma focus (CBTs-TF) are underpowered to examine key variables that might moderate treatment effects. We aimed to determine the efficacy of CBTs-TF for young people, relative to passive and active control conditions, and elucidate putative individual-level and treatment-level moderators. Methods: This was an individual participant data meta-analysis of published and unpublished randomised studies in young people aged 6−18 years exposed to trauma. We included studies identified by the latest UK National Institute of Health and Care Excellence guidelines (completed on Jan 29, 2018) and updated their search. The search strategy included database searches restricted to publications between Jan 1, 2018, and Nov 12, 2019; grey literature search of trial registries ClinicalTrials.gov and ISRCTN; preprint archives PsyArXiv and bioRxiv; and use of social media and emails to key authors to identify any unpublished datasets. The primary outcome was post-traumatic stress symptoms after treatment (<1 month after the final session). Predominantly, one-stage random-effects models were fitted. This study is registered with PROSPERO, CRD42019151954. Findings: We identified 38 studies; 25 studies provided individual participant data, comprising 1686 young people (mean age 13·65 years [SD 3·01]), with 802 receiving CBTs-TF and 884 a control condition. The risk-of-bias assessment indicated five studies as low risk and 20 studies with some concerns. Participants who received CBTs-TF had lower mean post-traumatic stress symptoms after treatment than those who received the control conditions, after adjusting for post-traumatic stress symptoms before treatment (b=−13·17, 95% CI −17·84 to −8·50, p<0·001, τ2=103·72). Moderation analysis indicated that this effect of CBTs-TF on post-traumatic stress symptoms post-treatment increased by 0·15 units (b=−0·15, 95% CI −0·29 to −0·01, p=0·041, τ2=0·03) for each unit increase in pre-treatment post-traumatic stress symptoms. Interpretation: This is the first individual participant data meta-analysis of young people exposed to trauma. Our findings support CBTs-TF as the first-line treatment, irrespective of age, gender, trauma characteristics, or carer involvement in treatment, with particular benefits for those with higher initial distress. Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation.

Type: Article
Title: Efficacy and moderators of efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapies with a trauma focus in children and adolescents: an individual participant data meta-analysis of randomised trials
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/S2352-4642(23)00253-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(23)00253-5
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10183274
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