Children who have suffered accidental injury are being helped by using a website that gives them information and coping skills, helping prevent PTSD, researchers have found.
The researchers, led by Professor Justin Kenardy, say web-based intervention can prevent post-traumatic stress disorder developing in children after accidental injury.
The Accident Website and booklet gives parents and children with information around coping skills and resiliency strategies.
“We were surprised to see how significantly these tools helped to reduce trauma symptoms in children who had been hospitalised and had high levels of distress,” says Kenardy.
“You can imagine how traumatising it is to a child when they have been injured in an event like a car accident.
“It’s important that we learn how to reduce childhood trauma as it can have lifelong implications.”
Outcomes were also compared to those children who received the web-based information to those who received the usual hospital care.
The researchers tailored the information for different age groups and 60 children tested.
The said the study showed that intervention had a significant effect only on children who showed a high level of initial distress.
Previous approaches have targeted all children, rather than only those who showed initial high distress.
“We hope to one day see these tools used by health services and professionals so that highly distressed children are more likely to recover both physically and mentally from accidents.”
The Accident Website can be viewed here.