Listen protect connect for traumatized schoolchildren: A pilot study of psychological first aid

Marizen Ramirez, Karisa Harland, Maisha Frederick, Rhoda Shepherd, Marleen Wong, Joseph E. Cavanaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Listen Protect Connect (LPC), a school-based program of Psychological First Aid delivered by non-mental health professionals, is intended to support trauma-exposed children. Our objective was to implement LPC in a school setting and assess the effectiveness of LPC on improving psychosocial outcomes associated with trauma. Methods: A pilot quasi-experiment was conducted with middle school children self-identified or referred to the school nurse as potentially exposed to stressful life experiences. LPC was provided to students by the school nurse, and questionnaires were administered at baseline, 2-, 4- and 8-weeks to assess life stressors, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, social support, and school connectedness. A total of 71 measurements were collected from 20 children in all. Although a small sample size, multiple measurements allowed for multivariable mixed effects models to analyze changes in the repeated outcomes over time. Results: Students who received the intervention had reduced depressive and posttraumatic stress symptoms from baseline throughout follow-up period. Total social support also increased significantly from baseline through 8-weeks, and school connectedness increased up to 4-weeks post-intervention. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the potential of LPC as a school-based intervention of Psychological First Aid. Future randomized trials of LPC are needed, however.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
JournalBMC Psychology
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 27 2013

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Keywords

  • Child
  • Intervention studies
  • Post-traumatic stress disorders
  • Schools

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