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Using qualitative evidence to optimize child PTSD treatment guidelines.

Wesel, F. van, Alisic, E., Boeije, H. Using qualitative evidence to optimize child PTSD treatment guidelines. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy: 2014, 6(5), p. 546-554.
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The importance of patients’ perspectives in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is increasingly emphasized in recent years. However, qualitative evidence regarding these perspectives, is not systematically included in treatment guidelines. The possibilities of adding systematically aggregated recipients’ views are examined in this paper, with a focus on children and adolescents. We reanalyzed a qualitative synthesis of the experiences of traumatized youth in order to derive recommendations for treatment. These recommendations were juxtaposed to 3 leading international sets of guidelines for children’s treatment that stem from a quantitatively dominated evidence base. We found congruence between the 2 evidence bases regarding the broad impact of trauma, the importance of routines, and the involvement of parents in therapy. The yield of the qualitative synthesis comprised children’s feeling of being both normal and different, their need for a vigorous posttrauma identity, the importance of building relationships with significant others, and the importance of providing children with something to “hold on to.” The inclusion of both quantitative and qualitative sources of evidence holds the promise of better tailoring treatment to recipients’ needs. (aut. ref.)