Primary Care Interventions to Prevent or Treat Traumatic Stress in Childhood: A Systematic Review



      To systematically assess the evidence base for prevention and treatment of child traumatic stress in primary care settings.

      Data Sources

      PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Scopus, Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network website, Google search.

      Study Eligibility Criteria, Participants, and Interventions

      Studies were eligible for inclusion if they described the results of intervention studies in a primary care setting addressing child traumatic stress. Study participants could include primary care providers, pediatric patients, and their parents or other caregivers.

      Study Appraisal and Synthesis Methods

      Each study was assessed for inclusion, and each included study was assessed for risk of bias by 2 reviewers.


      We found 12 articles describing 10 different studies that met the inclusion criteria. The intervention approaches taken in the studies were diverse and included the implementation of screening programs or tools, training clinicians to recognize and discuss psychosocial issues with patients and their families, and providing primary care professionals with community resource lists. Nine out of 10 studies included in the review reported favorable results.


      Studies included in the review had relatively short follow-up periods, and the diversity of studies identified precluded the possibility of conducting a meta-analysis.

      Conclusions and Implications of Key Findings

      Findings suggest that interventions in pediatric primary care settings are feasible and can favorably affect clinical practices and families' outcomes.


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