July 3, 2015
Cognitive behavioral therapy that focused on trauma and stress-related symptoms was effective among orphans and vulnerable children in Lusaka, Zambia, according to a randomized clinical trial.
“There are 15.1 million youth orphaned by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, with numbers predicted to increase. Orphans and vulnerable children experience multiple traumatic experiences, including abuse and exploitation, premature parental death, HIV infection and stigma, poor health care, poverty, reduced social support, and abbreviated childhood and education,” study researcher Laura K. Murray, PhD, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues wrote in JAMA Pediatrics. “Given the association of childhood trauma with skill deficits and unhealthy decision making, as well as with long-term negative health outcomes, early and effective mental health intervention is critical to the care of [orphans and vulnerable children].”