The role of age and mode of delivery in the STEPS intervention: a longitudinal pilot-study in treatment of posttraumatic stress symptoms in Danish survivors of sexual assault

M. Louison Vang, S. A. Ali, D. M. Christiansen, S. Dokkedahl, A. Elklit

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    Abstract

    Background: The STEPS programme has been succesfully implemented as a group-based
    treatment of trauma symptoms after rape for adolescents. The STEPS intervention was translated from Dutch to Danish and offered to adults in addition to adolescents as well as an
    individual intervention in addition to a group-based intervention at a Danish Centre for Rape
    Victims through 2011 to 2014. The programme was translated from Dutch to Danish and
    expanded to adults in addition to adolescents as well as to an individual intervention in addition
    to a group-based intervention at a Danish Centre for Rape Victims through 2011 to 2014.
    Objective: The present study observes development in trauma symptoms and ICD-11
    diagnostic status during an adapted version of the intervention programme ‘STEPS’ for
    survivors of sexual assault.
    Methods: A prospective uncontrolled study was conducted, monitoring symptoms of posttraumatic stress and other trauma-related symptomatology before treatment, after treatment
    and at 6 and 12 months' follow up for 103 referrals receiving individual or group-based STEPS.
    Tentative diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD were assigned
    to participants according to the ICD-11 to observe the development in diagnostic status
    across time, and multilevel modelling was used to assess the development of symptom
    severity and to assess the moderating effect of age-group and mode of delivery.
    Results: A loglinear function representing large and statistically significant decline in
    symptomatology over time provided the best fit for all measures of trauma-related symptomatology. The decline was not moderated by age-group or mode of intervention. Dropout
    rates were independent of mode of intervention and age.
    Conclusion: The adaption of the STEPS programme to adults and as an individual intervention is feasible and maintains effect sizes comparable to those observed in the original
    intervention. Further research using randomized controlled trials is needed to ascribe the
    observed effect to the STEPS programme.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1701778
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
    Volume11
    Issue number1
    Early online date13 Jan 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020

    Keywords

    • Sexual assault
    • rape
    • PTSD
    • CPTSD
    • ICD-11
    • treatment
    • Intervention
    • STEPS

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