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Treatment of Formerly Abducted Children (FAC) in Uganda

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00552006
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 1, 2007
Last Update Posted : March 8, 2011
German Research Foundation
Information provided by:
University of Konstanz

Brief Summary:
In the aftermath of traumatic experiences like natural disasters or man-caused traumatic events, such as war experiences, a substantial part of the affected individuals develop a number of psychological symptoms. The characteristic symptom pattern occurring in the aftermath of traumatic events is called posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and includes functional impairment of the affected individuals. The investigators want to test whether Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) is an effective tool in reducing trauma related symptoms in formerly abducted children and youths and former child soldiers, when applied by lay personnel.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic Behavioral: Narrative Exposure Therapy Behavioral: Academic Counseling Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 85 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial (RCCT) to Test the Effectiveness of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) Versus an Attention Control Condition (AC) in Reducing Trauma Related Symptoms in Formerly Abducted Children and Former Child Soldiers Suffering From Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Study Start Date : November 2007
Actual Primary Completion Date : November 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : November 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: NET Behavioral: Narrative Exposure Therapy

Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) is based on Testimony Therapy in combination with cognitive behavioural exposure techniques and elements of client-centered counselling. In cooperation with the therapist the clients can restore their autobiographic memories about their traumatic experiences. In this way fragmentary memories are transformed into a coherent narrative structure. This practice enables the processing of painful emotions and the construction of clear contingencies of dangerous and safe conditions, generally leading to significant emotional recovery. Therapeutic aims are the reduction of PTSD-Symptomload via activation of fear-network and habituation of fear and the placement of traumatic experiences in a reconstructed, detailed and consistent autobiography.

NET will be applied in eight sessions (90-120min/session) in a standardized, manualized manner.

Other Name: NET

Active Comparator: AC Behavioral: Academic Counseling

Missing time in educational life is one major issue for formerly abducted people. The Academic Counseling (AC) intervention is an active Control condition and improves English skills and works at the same time on concentration, learning and memory abilities. The clients will gain some of the abilities and skills they might have lost or developed weaknesses in due to their abduction.

AC will be applied in eight sessions (90-120min/session) in a standardized, manualized manner.

Other Name: AC

No Intervention: WL
Waiting list

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Load of traumatic symptoms measured via the CAPS (Clinician-administered PTSD scale) [ Time Frame: 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after completion of treatment ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Load of depressive symptoms measured via the MINI, strength of suicidal ideation measured via the MINI, functionality measured via the CAPS, feelings of guilt measured via the CAPS, stigmatization measured via an adapted version of the PSQ [ Time Frame: 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after completion of treatment ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   12 Years to 25 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • clinical diagnosis of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) derived from expert interviews
  • member of the group of formerly abducted people or former child soldiers

Exclusion Criteria:

  • current substance dependence
  • mental retardation
  • psychotic disorder

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00552006

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Vivo Counselling Centre
Anaka, Amuru, Uganda
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Konstanz
German Research Foundation
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Principal Investigator: Frank Neuner, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bielefeld University
Principal Investigator: Thomas Elbert, Univ.-Prof. Dr. University of Konstanz
Study Director: Verena Ertl, Dipl.-Psych. (MSc) Bielefeld University
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Prof.Dr. Frank Neuner, Bielefeld University Identifier: NCT00552006    
Other Study ID Numbers: NE 1390/2-1
First Posted: November 1, 2007    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 8, 2011
Last Verified: July 2008
Keywords provided by University of Konstanz:
Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial
Child Soldiers
Narrative Exposure Therapy
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders
Mental Disorders