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Single-session early psychological interventions following traumatic events

Bisson, Jonathan Ian 2003. Single-session early psychological interventions following traumatic events. Clinical Psychology Review 23 (3) , pp. 481-499. 10.1016/S0272-7358(03)00034-5

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Single-session early psychological interventions became widely advocated during the 1980s and 1990s as a way to prevent the development of psychological sequalae following traumatic events. There have now been 13 randomised controlled trials of single-session interventions within 1 month of a traumatic event. Notwithstanding their methodological shortcomings and clinical heterogeneity, the results are neutral overall in terms of clinical effectiveness. Possible explanations include a failure to encourage individuals' personal coping mechanisms and defence mechanisms and that insufficient time was allowed for habituation to intense exposure to occur. With the present evidence, the routine use of single-session interventions following traumatic events cannot be justified. This does not mean that there should be nothing offered, as many individuals involved in traumatic events clearly have emotional needs. Hopefully, future research will identify alternative forms of early intervention that prove useful to those individuals who would otherwise develop more significant psychological difficulties.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: debriefing, early intervention, PTSD, traumatic stress
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0272-7358
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:05

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