A Cochrane review from 1998 concluded that single-session intervention does not prevent the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder. This led to a debate about what is the best, if any, psychological treatment after traumas. In consequence, some clinicians have become doubtful about as how to deal with traumatized patients.
We present three examples in order to illustrate situations in which psychological intervention is useful.
The conclusions in the Cochrane review are well documented. However, insufficient correspondence between the traumas and the intervention offered gave us cause to question the clinical importance of existing studies.
Future studies of psychological intervention after traumas should use an individualized design in which the intervention is in proportion to the trauma. Based on knowledge not given by randomized controlled studies, we recommend clinicians to offer psychological help to those exposed to traumatic incidents. Most people need adequate information after traumas. For those who develop health problems, intervention until recovery is recommended.
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Psykologisk intervensjon etter traumer - gjør det vondt verre?Marit Kristine Smedsrud Erlend Hem Øivind Ekeberg Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen 2005; 125: 1828-30