Topic: Violence and abuse

Screening for traumatic experiences among children and adolescents referred to outpatient clinics

Ormhaug, S. M., Jensen, T. K., Hukkelberg, S. S., & Egeland, K. (2012). Traumer hos barn - blir de gjemt eller glemt? Kartlegging av traumatiske erfaringer hos barn og unge henvist til BUP [Screening for traumatic experiences among children and adolescents referred to outpatient clinics] Norwegian only. Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening, 49, 234-239.

There is reason to believe that a significant number of children and adolescents referred to child and adolescent outpatient clinics have experienced traumatic events, but it is unclear whether these traumas are described in the referrals.

This means that the traumatizing experiences are often unknown to clinicians, and the child’s post-traumatic stress symptoms may thus be overlooked. In the present study, 511 children and adolescents aged 10-18 referred to two child and adolescent outpatient clinics were screened for traumatic events at intake. Results show that 47.2% reported being exposed to at least one traumatic event, and 184 of these agreed to be further assessed for symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS). In this sample, 59.8% scored above clinical level, but the traumatizing event was not mentioned in 37.7% of the referrals. These “ndings are in line with previous studies, and underscore the importance of routinely screening for traumatic events and post-traumatic symptoms at intake.

Keywords: screening, trauma, children and adolescents, post-traumatic stress reactions

The Researchers

  • Egeland, Karina

    Egeland, Karina

    Researcher II / Master of Psychology

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  • Jensen, Tine

    Jensen, Tine

    Researcher/ Associate professor, University of Osl / Ph.D. Psychology

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  • Ormhaug, Silje Mørup

    Ormhaug, Silje Mørup

    Researcher II / PhD

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