International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

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Articles that appear in the Trauma Blog are from StressPoints or web editorial contributions.

StressPoints is the award-winning online eNewsletter of ISTSS. StressPoints shares news and opinions about traumatic stress, highlights ISTSS and affiliate societies' activities and offers informational resources and feature articles of interest to the field. Access archived StressPoints articles prior to 2015.

The Thinking About Recovery Scale: A New Parent-Report Questionnaire to use after Children are Exposed to Traumatic Events

Posted 2 February 2018 in JOTS Highlights by Elizabeth J. Schilpzand, Rowena Conroy, Vicki Anderson, Eva Alisic

Parental responses are thought to be critical to children’s recovery from trauma. Parent and child PTSD often occur together (Morris, Gabert-Quillen, & Delahanty, 2012), parents appear to make important contributions to the treatment of child PTSD (Gutermann et al., 2016), and a range of parenting behaviors are associated with childhood PTSD (Williamson et al., 2017). Despite acknowledgement in the field that parents play an important role in children’s recovery from trauma, we currently have limited understanding about the processes by which parents could influence child outcomes. Improving our understanding of these mechanisms will help us better prevent and treat adverse outcomes for families after a child experiences a traumatic event. In our recent research, we have focused on the role of cognitions.
 

Mental Health Diagnoses among Women Experiencing Recent Intimate Partner Violence: Need for Integrated Care

Posted 2 February 2018 in JOTS Highlights by Melissa E. Dichter, PhD, MSW

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the term used to refer to violence and abuse in various forms (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial), perpetrated by a current or former intimate partner (including spouse or other romantic or sexual partner; World Health Organization, United Nations Development Programme & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2014). In the United States, it is estimated that more than one in three women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking from an intimate partner in their lifetimes (Black et al., 2011); prevalence and incident rates vary by measurement tools and constructs measured. IPV is associated with numerous adverse outcomes, including physical injuries, chronic health conditions, trauma-related mental health symptoms, unhealthy substance use, housing instability, and suicidality.
 

Topiramate as Monotherapy or Adjunctive Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis 

Posted 2 February 2018 in JOTS Highlights by Archana Varma MD, Michael Moore MD

Topiramate, an anticonvulsant agent, has been studied as a primary and adjunctive treatment for PTSD, yet little is known regarding the efficacy of this treatment approach.  The neurochemical basis for PTSD is hypothesized to involve kindling of the limbic nuclei and increased susceptibility to arousal. Anticonvulsants have been investigated as potential augmentation or monotherapy strategies to treat PTSD due to their anxiolytic and anti- kindling effects.
 

Do all children follow the same symptom trajectory after exposure to a disaster?

Posted 28 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Rayleen M. Lewis, MPH, Michelle S. Livings, Betty S. Lai, Ph.D., Annette M. La Greca, Ph.D., ABPP and Ann-Margaret Esnard, Ph.D.

More than 100 million children worldwide are exposed to disasters each year (UNISDR, 2011), and disasters are increasing in both frequency and intensity (USGCRP, 2016). Following a disaster, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) are the primary problem presenting in children (Furr, 2010).

The Development and Validation of a Self-Report Instrument that assesses ICD-11 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD: The Complex Trauma Inventory (CTI)

Posted 22 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Justin M. Litvin, M.A., Patricia Kaminski Ph.D. and Shelley A. Riggs, Ph.D.

Since there is a significant shift in the definition of PTSD and a new trauma disorder is proposed, new assessment tools are needed to measure these novel constructs.

Neurological Reactivity of Combat Veterans with PTSD Following Exposure to Trauma-related Auditory and Olfactory Cues: An fNIRS Study

Posted 22 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Michael Gramlich, M.S., Sandra M. Neer, Ph.D., and Deborah C. Beidel, Ph.D. ABPP

In recent years, national agencies and clinical research centers began advocating for integrative approaches that capture behavioral, genetic, and neurophysiological mechanisms to better understand complex and chronic disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Finding common ground in Moral Injury treatment

Posted 19 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Brian Klassen, Ph.D.

The experience of military service members who serve in combat is complex and can include multiple elements of fear, traumatic loss of friends and comrades, and provocative situations that challenge one’s basic sense of right and wrong (Stein et al., 2012).

Does the suffering end after placing children with traumatic experiences in foster families? A study of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in young children in foster care in Germany

Posted 19 November 2017 in JOTS Highlights by Mira Vasileva, M.Sc. and Franz Petermann, Ph.D.

For a long time it was assumed that very young children cannot experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); the common stance was that they are not able, at this early age, to appraise an experience as traumatic, or to develop symptoms such as re-experiencing, since their memory is still developing.
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