Specialized Inpatient Trauma Treatment for Adults Abused as Children: A Follow-Up Study
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The authors investigated outcome at discharge and at follow-up assessments for adults abused as children who completed a 6-week inpatient program for traumatic stress recovery.
Participants were assessed at admission, discharge, and 3, 6, and 12 months postdischarge on measures of global symptom severity, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and disrupted beliefs. Two wait-list comparison groups were also assessed at two points in time for comparison with the discharge and 3-month postdischarge assessments of the treatment group.
Relative to admission, the mean scores on all outcome measures for the treatment group were improved at discharge and at 6 and 12 months. Relative to a wait list group, the treatment group was significantly improved at discharge. After 3 months, the scores for the treatment group were not different from those of a wait list group because of deterioration in the treatment group. Age, source of income, and number of axis II disorders were associated with differing patterns of PTSD symptom change over time. Between 32% and 45%, depending on outcome measure, met stringent criteria for clinically significant change at 12 months postdischarge.
At discharge from a specialized inpatient treatment program, adults with a history of abuse during childhood showed improvement relative to a wait list group. Scores tended to deteriorate in the 3 months following discharge but rebounded to discharge levels by 12 months postdischarge. Although many abused adults benefited from specialized inpatient treatment, a substantial proportion did not show clinically significant change 1 year later.