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Supporting children after single-incident trauma: parents'views.

Alisic, E., Boeije, H.R., Jongmans, M.J., Kleber, R.J. Supporting children after single-incident trauma: parents'views. Clinical Pediatrics: 2012, 51(3), p. 274-282.
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Objective. To strengthen trauma-informed health care by exploring parents’ experiences of assisting their child after single-incident trauma (eg, violence, accidents, and sudden loss). Method. Semistructured interviews with parents (N = 33) of 25 exposed children (8-12 years). Results. Responsive parenting after trauma emerged as a core theme, consisting of (a) being aware of a child’s needs and (b) acting on these needs. The authors identified 14 strategies, such as comparing behavior with siblings’ behavior and providing opportunities to talk. Parents felt that their capacity to be responsive was influenced by their own level of distress. Conclusion. The authors propose a model of Relational PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) and Recovery to assist health care professionals working with children exposed to trauma. The results also point to the need to recognize the challenge that parents face when supporting a child after traumatic exposure and to align more with parents about procedures that may cause the child to be reminded of the event. (aut. ref.)