Effectiveness and acceptability of group psychoeducation for the management of mental health problems in survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA)

Thanos Karatzias*, Sandra Ferguson, Zoë Chouliara, Angela Gullone, Katie Cosgrove, Anne Douglas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


There has been limited published research on the effectiveness of manualized psychoeducational approaches for the mental health and behavioral problems of child sexual abuse (CSA) survivors. The present study aims to add to the evidence base for the effectiveness and acceptability of such interventions. A total of 37 enrolled into a brief psychoeducation program (i.e., 10 sessions) aiming to help stabilize mental health and behavioral outcomes (e.g., self-harm), while on the waiting list for mental health services. Participants completed a set of self-rated measures at baseline, pre-intervention, post-intervention and 3-month follow-up. Although there was no change over time with regard to general distress, traumatic symptomatology, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and life satisfaction, completers were less likely to report self-harm and presented with decreased rates of smoking, alcohol and substance misuse, and involvement in illegal and antisocial behaviors at post-treatment and follow-up. Qualitative data also suggested that overall the program is well tolerated by participants, despite the high attrition rate (43%). Although further research is required to establish the efficacy of this intervention, preliminary results indicate that the new intervention may be useful for stabilizing behavioral problems at posttreatment and follow-up. Strategies to improve attrition rates in future research and clinical practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-514
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Group Psychotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


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