Methods/design: This protocol describes a two-arm, patient-level, single blind, superiority RCT comparing CT-PTSD (n=60) with TAU (n=60) in children and young people aged 8–17 years with a diagnosis of PTSD following multiple trauma exposure. The primary outcome is PTSD severity assessed using the Children’s Revised Impact of Event Scale (8-item version) at post-treatment (ie, approximately 5 months post-randomisation). Secondary outcomes include structured interview assessment for PTSD, complex PTSD symptoms, depression and anxiety, overall functioning and parent-rated mental health. Mid-treatment and 11-month and 29-month post-randomisation assessments will also be completed. Process–outcome evaluation will consider which mechanisms underpin or moderate recovery. Qualitative interviews with the young people, their families and their therapists will be undertaken. Cost-effectiveness of CT-PTSD relative to TAU will be also be assessed.
Ethics and dissemination: This trial protocol has been approved by a UK Health Research Authority Research Ethics Committee (East of England–Cambridge South, 16/EE/0233). Findings will be disseminated broadly via peer-reviewed empirical journal articles, conference presentations and clinical workshops.
Trial registration: ISRCTN12077707. Registered 24 October 2016 (http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN12077707). Trial recruitment commenced on 1 February 2017. It is anticipated that recruitment will continue until June 2021, with 11-month assessments being concluded in May 2022.
- anxiety disorders
- child & adolescent psychiatry
- depression & mood disorders