Trauma-focused Group Music and Imagery With Women Suffering from PTSD/complex PTSD: A Feasibility Study

Gabriella Rudstam
Ulf Elofsson
Hans Peter Søndergaard
Lars Ole Bonde
Bolette Daniels Beck

Abstract

Women who have been exposed to physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse, often with a history of childhood abuse and neglect, frequently suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). However, the evidence-based treatments recommended for this population help only 50%, so there is a need to investigate complementary methods. In this study one such promising method has been explored: trauma-focused Group Music and Imagery (GrpMI). In a nonrandomised clinical setting the feasibility of GrpMI and the suitability of chosen measurements were explored. Ten participants with PTSD/CPTSD were enrolled in the pilot study, five in each group. All participants completed the treatment. The primary outcome was symptoms of PTSD measured at pre-, postand follow-up. The secondary outcomes were dissociation and quality of life. The results showed a decrease in PTSD and dissociative symptoms, and an increase in quality of life following treatment. This tendency was maintained at follow-up. An analysis of individual, semi-structured interviews with the participants after the termination of the treatment showed that the participants found the group treatment helpful and acceptable. Since the findings indicate that trauma-focused GrpMI has a positive effect on the psychological health of the women, a larger randomised controlled study is needed.