The predictors of treatment outcome of cognitive behavior group therapy (STEPS) for adolescent girls after a single rape experience.
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Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the predictors of treatment outcome of cognitive behavior group therapy (STEPS) for adolescent girls after a single rape experience. Methods: Sixty-two girls between the age of 13 and 18 participated in the STEPS treatment. One girl dropped out. Several self-report questionnaires (TSCC, CRTI, YSR/11-18) were filled out at pre- and post-treatment to determine the level of trauma-related symptoms. The efficacy of STEPS was investigated using a paired samples t-test. The possible predictors (baseline score, previous positive experience with sex, family composition and time from trauma to treatment entry) were analysed using a hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Results: A significant reduction of trauma-related symptoms was found from pre-treatment to post-treatment, with one exception (YSR Externalizing problems). A higher baseline score predicted a relatively higher post-treatment score for the depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress symptoms, as well as the internalizing and externalizing problems and the total of emotional and behavioral problems. Having divorced parents predicted a less successful treatment outcome for depression, posttraumatic stress symptoms according to the DSM-IV and arousal symptoms. A longer period between trauma and treatment entry predicted a relatively lower level of externalizing problems at post-treatment. A previous positive experience with sex was not related to treatment outcome. Conclusion: There is a significant mean reduction of trauma-related symptoms after the STEPS treatment. Therefore individual girls should not be excluded from this treatment based on the outcome predictors found in this study. It is advised to monitor the girls at risk during treatment.