Mental Health and Aggression in Congolese Ex-combatants

This study has been completed.
German Research Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Susanne Schaal, University of Konstanz Identifier:
First received: January 16, 2012
Last updated: June 25, 2013
Last verified: June 2013
The purpose of this study is examine, whether a treatment approach, which is specifically tailored for perpetrators who have participated in violence (a variant of Narrative Exposure Therapy) is effective in the reduction of instrumental aggression and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

Condition Intervention Phase
Appetitive Aggression
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Behavioral: A variant of Narrative Exposure Therapy
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Konstanz:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Appetitive aggression (Appetitive Aggression Scale) [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale, PDS) [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Symptoms of depression (Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview) [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Functionality (Work and Social Adjustment Scale) [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 38
Study Start Date: May 2011
Study Completion Date: September 2012
Primary Completion Date: May 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
No Intervention: Control Group
Experimental: A variant of Narrative exposure therapy Behavioral: A variant of Narrative Exposure Therapy
During the proposed therapy, the client constructs a chronological narrative of his or her whole life which includes all traumatic experiences and perpetrated violent acts. All emotions, cognitions, sensory information, and physiological reactions are activated and linked to the autobiographical context.In five sessions the therapist and the client try to go through all important traumatic experiences and perpetrated violent acts. The sixth session is a group session with four to five clients. The group session is oriented on Interpersonal Psychotherapy and focuses on the role change from soldier to civilian.

Detailed Description:
The reintegration of former child soldiers and ex-combatants is a big challenge in war-torn countries. Former child soldiers and ex-combatants often suffer from mental health problems and show enhanced levels of aggression. The present study focuses on the reduction of appetitive aggression and the improvement of mental health in former child soldiers and ex-combatants in DR Congo.

Ages Eligible for Study:   16 Years to 35 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Ex-combatants in Congo who live in a re-integration camp
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01625117

Reintegration camp for ex-combatants
Goma, Congo
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Konstanz
German Research Foundation
Study Director: Thomas Elbert, Prof. Dr. University of Konstanz
  More Information

Responsible Party: Susanne Schaal, University of Konstanz Identifier: NCT01625117     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: DFG_2011 
Study First Received: January 16, 2012
Last Updated: June 25, 2013
Health Authority: Germany: Ethics Commission

Keywords provided by University of Konstanz:
Treatment of ex-combatants
Narrative Exposure Therapy for ex-combatants
Appetitive Aggression
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Behavioral Symptoms
Mental Disorders
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders processed this record on May 30, 2016