Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following exposure to acute psychological trauma in children aged 8-16 years in South Africa: protocol for the Sinethemba longitudinal study

Sharp, Tamsin H., Chideya, Yeukai, Giuliani, Alessandra, Hunt, Xanthe, Tomlinson, Mark, Seedat, Soraya, Creswell, Cathy, Fearon, Pasco, Hamilton-Giachritsis, Catherine, Hiller, Rachel, Meiser-Stedman, Richard ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0262-623X, Du Toit, Stefani, Stewart, Jackie and Halligan, Sarah L. (2024) Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms following exposure to acute psychological trauma in children aged 8-16 years in South Africa: protocol for the Sinethemba longitudinal study. BMJ Open, 14 (7). ISSN 2044-6055

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Abstract

Introduction: Children exposed to trauma are vulnerable to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other adverse mental health outcomes. In low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), children are at increased risk of exposure to severe trauma and co-occurring adversities. However, relative to high-income countries, there is limited evidence of the factors that predict good versus poor psychological recovery following trauma exposure in LMIC children, and the role of caregiver support in these high-adversity communities. Methods and analysis: We will conduct a longitudinal, observational study of 250 children aged 8–16 years and their caregivers in South Africa, following child exposure to acute trauma. Dyads will be recruited from community hospitals following a potentially traumatic event, such as a motor vehicle accident or assault. Potential participants will be identified during their hospital visit, and if they agree, will subsequently be contacted by study researchers. Assessments will take place within 4 weeks of the traumatic event, with 3-month and 6-month follow-up assessments. Participants will provide a narrative description of the traumatic event and complete questionnaires designed to give information about social and psychological risk factors. Child PTSD symptoms will be the primary outcome, and wider trauma-related mental health (depression, anxiety, behavioural problems) will be secondary outcomes. Regression-based methods will be used to examine the association of psychosocial factors in the acute phase following trauma, including caregiver support and responding, with child PTSD and wider mental health outcomes. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approvals have been granted by Stellenbosch University and the University of Bath, with additional approvals to recruit via hospitals and healthcare clinics being granted by the University of Cape Town, the Department of Health and the City of Cape Town. Study findings will be disseminated via publication in journals, workshops for practitioners and policy-makers, and public engagement events.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Lifespan Health
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Mental Health
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2024 08:30
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2024 01:57
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/95399
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2024-085129

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