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Cognitive behaviour therapy for postnatal post-traumatic stress disorder: case studies

Ayers, S., McKenzie-McHarg, K. & Eagle, A. (2007). Cognitive behaviour therapy for postnatal post-traumatic stress disorder: case studies. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 28(3), pp. 177-184. doi: 10.1080/01674820601142957


Background: Approximately 1 to 2 % of women suffer from postnatal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with wide ranging consequences for these women and their families. Appropriate treatment of women who have difficult or traumatic births is not yet established. Evidence in other populations shows cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is effective for PTSD and it is therefore the recommended treatment. However, a recent review of treatments for postnatal distress concluded that descriptions of postnatal counseling are largely generalized and non-specific, which makes them difficult to assess or replicate.

Aims & Method: The current paper therefore aims to describe the use of CBT interventions to treat postnatal distress, and to illustrate common themes or issues that occur in postnatal PTSD. This paper reports two case studies of women with postnatal PTSD and their treatment using CBT.

Conclusions: In these cases, CBT was an effective treatment for postnatal PTSD. A number of implications are drawn for the management of pregnancy and labour.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: birth, postnatal, post-traumatic stress disorder, cognitive behaviour therapy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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