The effect of flexible cognitive-behavioural therapy and medical treatment, including antidepressants on post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in traumatised refugees: pragmatic randomised controlled clinical trial

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

BACKGROUND: Little evidence exists on the treatment of traumatised refugees.

AIMS: To estimate treatment effects of flexible cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and antidepressants (sertraline and mianserin) in traumatised refugees.

METHOD: Randomised controlled clinical trial with 2 × 2 factorial design (registered with, NCT00917397, EUDRACT no. 2008-006714-15). Participants were refugees with war-related traumatic experiences, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and without psychotic disorder. Treatment was weekly sessions with a physician and/or psychologist over 6 months.

RESULTS: A total of 217 of 280 patients completed treatment (78%). There was no effect on PTSD symptoms, no effect of psychotherapy and no interaction between psychotherapy and medicine. A small but significant effect of treatment with antidepressants was found on depression.

CONCLUSIONS: In a pragmatic clinical setting, there was no effect of flexible CBT and antidepressants on PTSD, and there was a small-to-moderate effect of antidepressants and psychoeducation on depression in traumatised refugees.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)252-9
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

ID: 164455393