Psychological and Pharmacologic Treatment of Youth with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: An Evidence-based Review

Keeshin, B. R.,
Strawn, J. R.
Published: April, 2014
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America
Volume: 23

Issue: 2

These authors present an evidence-based review of psychological and pharmacologic treatments for youth with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Children who have been exposed to violence and abuse experience a wide range of psychological sequelae, including attention disorders, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. Many children, especially those exposed to child abuse and neglect, as well as disasters and other noninterpersonal forms of trauma, may experience stress disorders such as PTSD. PTSD in children and adolescents is a constellation of symptoms that likely represent multiple pathophysiologic responses to stress. Psychotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for youth with PTSD, with the greatest evidence supporting the use of trauma-focused psychotherapies. Pharmacotherapy should be used in conjunction with ongoing psychotherapy when prolonged and severe symptoms, including comorbid conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders, warrant additional intervention. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Brooks R. Keeshin, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229; E-mail:, Website:
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