Question: In adults who have been a victim of a sexual assault/abuse, which group interventions are effective in improving trauma symptoms?


Plain language summary

There is limited high quality evidence on group interventions for improving trauma symptoms in adults who have been a victim of a sexual assault. More quality research is needed in this area.

Clinical and research implications

There is limited, poor quality evidence, from small randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that a variety of group psychological interventions (no two studies evaluated the same intervention) may be effective in reducing trauma and related symptoms, in adult women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. There was no evidence that any one type of group psychotherapy was more effective than others. There were no studies of people who had experienced sexual assault in adulthood and findings may therefore have limited applicability.

High quality randomised controlled trials of standardised interventions are needed to adequately assess the effectiveness of psychological interventions for victims of sexual assault. Studies focussing of people who have experienced sexual assault in adulthood, rather than those who experienced sexual abuse in childhood, and studies which include men are particularly lacking.

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