Tag Archive for 'therapy'

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Cog mod for PTSD

In the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Joanna Kowalik and colleagues reported that their review of studies on the use of cognitivie behavioral therapy for treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) revealed that cog-mod appears effective in changing raters’ responses on some of the widely used scales of the Child Behavior Checklist. However, the results of their literature review are not as powerful as one might hope, given the small number of studies and substantial variability in the studies themselves.


Background and objectives There is no clear gold standard treatment for childhood posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An annotated bibliography and meta-analysis were used to examine the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the treatment of pediatric PTSD as measured by outcome data from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL).

Method A literature search produced 21 studies; of these, 10 utilized the CBCL but only eight were both 1) randomized; and 2) reported pre- and post-intervention scores.

Results The annotated bibliography revealed efficacy in general of CBT for pediatric PTSD. Using four indices of the CBCL, the meta-analysis identified statistically significant effect sizes for three of the four scales: Total Problems (TP; ?.327; p = .003), Internalizing (INT; ?.314; p = .001), and Externalizing (EXT; ?.192; p = .040). The results for TP and INT were reliable as indicated by the fail-safe N and rank correlation tests. The effect size for the Total Competence (TCOMP; ?.054; p = .620) index did not reach statistical significance.

Limitations Limitations included methodological inconsistencies across studies and lack of a randomized control group design, yielding few studies for meta-analysis.

Conclusions The efficacy of CBT in the treatment of pediatric PTSD was supported by the annotated bibliography and meta-analysis, contributing to best practices data. CBT addressed internalizing signs and symptoms (as measured by the CBCL) such as anxiety and depression more robustly than it did externalizing symptoms such as aggression and rule-breaking behavior, consistent with its purpose as a therapeutic intervention.

Because they are integrating so few studies it is very difficult to have a sensitive meta-analysis in this case. However, that Professor Kowalik and her collaborators found differences at all is encouraging. I hope they’ll continue to follow this literature. Also, I hope researchers will be using other measures of outcomes and that those other measures will be examined in future integrative literature reviews, too.

Kowalik, J., Weller, J., Venter, J., & Drachman, D. (2011). Cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of pediatric posttraumatic stress disorder: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 42, 405-413. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2011.02.002

Counselling explained. You can find counselling services in your local private hospital in Nottingham, UK.

Secretin still does not help

Shanthi Krishnaswami and colleagues examined the research about the effects of using secretin as a theraputic agent for the treatment of Autism. They found that there were none of the seven randomized controlled trials showed beneficial effects and, therefore, concluded that secretin does not merit consideration as a therapy. Their finding, which employs rigorous methods, is consistent with earlier analyses that examined more preliminary research and which I have reported previously (as far back as the 1990s).

A Systematic Review of Secretin for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
Shanthi Krishnaswami, Melissa L. McPheeters and Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele

CONTEXT: As many as 1 in every 110 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Secretin is 1 of many medical treatments studied for treating the symptoms of ASDs, but there is currently no consensus regarding which interventions are most effective.

OBJECTIVE: To systematically review evidence regarding the use of secretin in children with ASDs who are aged 12 years and younger.

METHODS: We searched the Medline, PsycINFO, and ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) databases from 2000 to May 2010 and reference lists of included articles. Two reviewers independently assessed each study against predetermined inclusion/exclusion criteria. Two reviewers independently extracted data regarding participant and intervention characteristics, assessment techniques, and outcomes and assigned overall quality and strength-of-evidence ratings on the basis of predetermined criteria.

RESULTS: Evidence from 7 randomized controlled trials supports a lack of effectiveness of secretin for the treatment of ASD symptoms including language and communication impairment, symptom severity, and cognitive and social skill deficits. No studies have resulted in significantly greater improvements in measures of language, cognition, or autistic symptoms when compared with placebo; study authors who reported improvement over time did so equally for both the intervention and placebo groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Secretin has been studied extensively in multiple randomized controlled trials, and there is clear evidence that it lacks benefit. The studies of secretin included in this review uniformly point to a lack of significant impact of secretin in the treatment of ASD symptoms. Given the high strength of evidence for a lack of effectiveness, secretin as a treatment approach for ASDs warrants no further study.

Krishnaswami, S., McPHeeters, M. L., & Veenstra-VanderWeele, J. (2011). A systematic review of secretin for children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 127, 1322-1325. DOI 10.1542/peds.2011-0428

Altering Autism insurance coverage legislation in VA

Writing in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Olympia Meola reported on potential changes in support for insurance coverage for therapy for children with Autism in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the US. Under the headline “McDonnell will try to amend autism bill,” Ms. Meola described developments in Governor Robert “Bob” McDonnell’s plans for altering recent legislation requiring insurance payments for treatment.

Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected today to reveal proposed changes to a bill requiring insurance coverage of autism treatments, and some could be substantial alterations to what the General Assembly passed.

Conversations were continuing as of Tuesday between the governor’s office, lawmakers and interested parties about possible changes to a measure that would require coverage of autistic children ages 2 to 6.

Advocates of the bill said some significant tweaks could be “deal breakers.”

The amendments floated in the past week range in scope, from technical to more substantial, including changes in who could supervise treatment and when the law would take effect, according to those familiar with the proposals.

Link to Ms. Meola’s story.

ASAT newsletter’s available

For those readers interested in Autism who do not already subscribe to the newsletter of the Association for Science in Autism (ASAT), I have a nourishing treat: The latest issue of Science in Autism Treatment (SIAT) is now available. You can learn about ASAT and SIAT by going to the ASAT homepage and scouting about the many valuable resources there, including learning about and subscribing to the SIAT newsletter. Subscribe and you won’t have to depend on my flaky reminder system to let you know when one arrives in my mailbox!

WWC on Lovaas model

The US Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) released the results of its review of the model for teaching children with Autism that is based on the work of the late Ivar Lovaas on 24 August 2010. The WWC report is based on two of the many studies of the Lovaas method—often called “Applied Behavior Analysis”—and reports positive results for cognitive outcomes.
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ABAI on restraint and seclusion

Based on the work of a task force composed of highly qualified individuals, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has issued position statement about the use of restraint and seclusion in treatment. Members of the task force, which was appointed by the executive board, include Jon S. Bailey, Michael F. Dorsey, Louis P. Hagopian, Gregory P. Hanley, David B. Lennox, Mary M. Riordan, Scott Spreat, and Timothy R. Vollmer (chair).

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and its members strongly oppose the inappropriate and/or unnecessary use of seclusion, restraint, or other intrusive interventions. Although many persons with severe behavior problems can be effectively treated without the use of any restrictive interventions, restraint may be necessary on some rare occasions with meticulous clinical oversight and controls. In addition, a carefully planned and monitored use of timeout from reinforcement can be acceptable under restricted circumstances. Seclusion is sometimes necessary or needed, but behavior analysts would support only the most highly monitored and ethical practices associated with such use, to be detailed below.

In the “below,” the document goes on to present in detail the a set of guiding principles and specific recommendations about the use of seclusion and restraint. Read the statement, “ABAI Statement on Restraint and Seculsion” from the ABAI Website.

ASAT newsletter available

Those who subscribe to it know that the summer issue of Science in Autism Treatment, the newsletter for the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT), arrived today in their electronic mailboxes. For folks who are interested in Autism but who do not subscribe, here’s a catalog of content in this issue.
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ASAT Online

AST Online’s most recent newsletter (as of this date) provides lots of helpful information. Check it!