Treating trauma-related disorders in later life
Thesis Jeannette Lely (2019)
Disruptive and unexpected life experiences can seriously affect a person's overall functioning. The elderly form a growing target group within mental health services. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition, for which they too require effective psychotherapy. Jeannette Lely's PhD thesis focuses on the psychological treatment of trauma-related disorders in later life.
To reinforce the evidence supporting psychotherapy for older people with PTSD, Lely evaluates the effectiveness of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) in different target groups using a meta-analysis. Lely compares the results of NET and Present Centred Therapy (PCT) in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) among randomly selected older adults (≥55 years of age).
Psychotherapy are shown to be effective and safe at this stage of life.
The findings from Jeannette Lely's thesis suggest that short-term psychotherapy is safe and effective even in older PTSD patients. While PTSD is sometimes a hidden factor in the lives of older people, resilience may prove to be the hidden strength in their recovery.
ARQ National Psychotrauma Centre