Identifying effective moderators of cognitive behavioural trauma treatment with caregiver involvement for youth with PTSD : a meta-analysis

Children can develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health symptoms after traumatic events. This meta-analysis evaluated the influence of moderators of cognitive behavioural trauma treatment (CBTT) with caregiver involvement in traumatized children. A total of 28 studies were included, with 23 independent samples and 332 effect sizes, representing the data of 1931 children (M age = 11.10 years, SD = 2.36). Results showed a significant medium overall effect (d = 0.55, t = 2.478, p = 0.014), indicating CBTT with caregiver involvement was effective in treating PTSD (d = 0.70), with somewhat smaller effect sizes for internalizing, externalizing, social, cognitive and total problems (0.35 < d > 0.48).


The positive treatment effect was robust; we found somewhat smaller effect sizes at follow-up (d = 0.49) compared to post-test (d = 0.57) assessments. Furthermore, several sample (i.e. child’s age, gender, and trauma event), programme (i.e. the duration of treatment, number of sessions), study (i.e. control condition, type of instrument, informant, type of sample), and publication (i.e. publication year and impact factor) characteristics moderated the treatment outcomes of the child. In sum, the results of our meta-analysis might help to improve the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural trauma treatment for youth with PTSD, and guide the development of innovative trauma interventions that involve caregivers. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Katalin Somers, Anouk Spruit, Geert Jan Stams, Stijn Vandevelde, Ramon Lindauer & Mark Assink | 2022
In: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry ; ISSN: 1018-8827
Online ahead of print DOI: 10.1007/s00787-022-02088-2
Caregivers, Children, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Effectiveness, Interventions, Meta Analysis, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychotrauma, PTSD (en), Traumatic events, Treatment