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Psychology and Mental Health

Chicago, USA
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Outcome of systematic and analytic group psychotherapy for adult women with history of intrafamilial childhood sexual abuse

Author(s): Lau M, Kristensen E

Abstract

Objective: Research suggests that group psychotherapy for adults with a history of child sexual abuse (CSA) is generally beneficial. Only few studies have included random assignment. This study compared the effects of analytic (A) and systemic group psychotherapy (S) on CSA.

Method: One hundred and fifty-one women with intrafamilial CSA were randomly allocated to A or S. Quality of life, psychosocial function, psychological distress, and flashbacks were assessed before and after treatment. Both completer analyses and intent-to-treat analyses were carried out.

Results: Eighty-two patients completed group therapy. Both therapies led to the improved quality of life, fewer psychopathological symptoms, and better overall functioning, but overall the outcome of S was significantly better than the outcome of A.

Conclusion: Women with CSA sequelae benefit from both A and S. In the short-term, S is both statistically and clinically superior to A. Longer-term follow-up data are required for conclusions on maintenance of therapeutic gains.

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