Question: In children that have been sexually abused, what is the most effective psychological therapy in reducing short and/or long term trauma?


Due to methodological limitations of the included studies, no definite clinical implications could be made from the available evidence. The current evidence does suggest that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for children who have been sexually abused. One randomised controlled trial reported an effective CBT treatment specific to preschool children and their non-offending parents.

The authors of the included studies reported that additional well-controlled and empirically based treatment outcome studies are needed and that research should continue to identify therapy ingredients that are critical to successful outcomes. Another suggested that research should examine children presenting co-morbid conditions, the role of parental involvement and the degree of trauma focus necessary to produce optimal outcomes across domains. It was also suggested that it is important to develop, identify and utilise psychometrically sound instruments designed for young children.


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