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Evaluation found less traumatic stress

13 August, 2010


Photo: Lucia Puertas

A recent evaluation of the Recovery Manual in Palestinian schools found a significant decrease in traumatic stress reactions among adolescents who participated in the group intervention.

The randomised controlled trial was carried out by the Centre for Applied Research in Education (Palestine) in collaboration with University of Dundee and the Children and War Foundation.

School counsellors from the West Bank took part in three days of training in Recovery Manual techniques, delivered by trainers from the Children and War Foundation. A screening survey was then carried out in schools in Nablus City and the surrounding region.

Based on this survey, 133 students (11-14 years old) who reported elevated symptoms of post traumatic stress were randomly allocated to either participate in the session group intervention for five weeks, or to a waiting list for five weeks.

Before the intervention, an adapted war trauma questionnaire gave a measure of young people’s exposure to traumatic events. A range of standardised questionnaires was used to assess traumatic stress reactions, depressive feelings, and grief reactions before and after the groups had been carried out.

Results showed that exposure to traumatic events among school-children in Nablus was high. Young people who took part in the groups reported significant decreases in post traumatic stress reactions, depression, and traumatic grief, compared to students who did not take part in the groups. Students who participated in the groups also reported significant reductions in conduct problems and peer-relationship difficulties – as well as improvements in pro-social behaviour.