Effectiveness of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for Japanese children and adolescents in community settings: a multisite, randomized, controlled trial

European Journal of Psychotraumatology

Satomi Kameoka, Eizaburo Tanaka, Sayaka Yamamoto, Azusa Saito, Tomomi Narisawa, Yoko Arai, Sachiko Nosaka, Kayoko Ichikawa & Nozomu Asukai



Background: Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is an efficacious treatment model for children and adolescents with trauma-related disorders. However, only a few studies to date have been conducted in community settings, and no randomized controlled trials have been conducted in Asian countries.

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of TF-CBT in regular community settings in Japan, compared to treatment as usual (TAU).

Methods: Thirty Japanese children and adolescents (22 females, 8 males, mean age = 13.90, range = 6–18) were randomly assigned to 12 sessions of TF-CBT or the TAU group. The primary outcome measure was the K-SADS (Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia) score assessed by blinded evaluators one month after the treatment.

Results: The “intention to treat” analysis showed that the TF-CBT group achieved significantly greater symptom reduction than did the control group. The effect size (Cohen’s d) between the TF-CBT group and the TAU group was 0.96 (p = .014) for posttraumatic symptoms and 1.15 (p = .004) for depressive symptoms.

Conclusion: The findings revealed that TF-CBT is effective for treating traumatized youth in community mental health facilities and could be successfully implemented in Japan.

Keywords: clinical trials; childhood trauma; parents/caregivers; PTSD; RCT; TF-CBT

Received 13 Feb 2020, Accepted 01 May 2020, Published online: 01 Jul 2020

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