A pilot randomized control study to investigate the effect of the South African Adolescence Group Sleep Intervention (SAASI) on adolescent sleep and PTSD.

Jaco Rossouw, Sharain Suliman, Jani Nothling, Carl Lombard, Erine Brocker, Maryke Hewett, Candice Simmons, Gillian Shorter, Soraya Seedat, Melissa E. Milanak, Cherie Armour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Trauma exposure prevalence and consequent post-traumatic stress disorder among South African adolescents are significant. Sleep disturbances are among the most frequently reported difficulties faced by those dealing with PTSD. The current study examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of the South African Adolescence Group Sleep Intervention on PTSD symptom severity and sleep disturbance when delivered to South African adolescents with PTSD.
Method: Sixty-one adolescents with PTSD diagnoses and sleep disturbance were randomly assigned (1:1) to one individual and four group sessions of a sleep intervention (SAASI) or a control group. At baseline, post- and 1-month follow-up participants completed the Child PTSD symptom scale for DSM5 (CPSS-5) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) among other sleep and psychiatric measures. The trial was registered on the Pan African Trial Registry (PACTR202208559723690)
Results: There was a significant but similar decrease in PSQI scores in both groups over time indicating no overall intervention effect (wald test = -2.18, p=0.029), mean slope = -0.2 (95%CI: -0.37 to -0.02) (p=0.583). On the CPSS-5, interaction between groups was also not significant (p=0.291). Despite this overall finding, the mean difference in CPSS-SR-5 scores increased over time, with the difference between groups post-treatment -9.10 (95%CI: -18.00 to -0.21), p=.045 and the 1-month follow-up contrast -11.22 (95%CI: -22.43 to -0.03), p=0.049 suggesting that PTSD symptom severity decreased more in the intervention group than the control group. The dropout rate was higher than expected for both the intervention (n=10; 32%) and control (n=8; 26,7%) groups. Reasons provided for dropout were mostly school commitments or travel related.
Conclusions: Early findings suggest a trend towards dual improvement in sleep quality and PTSD symptom severity in adolescents with a sleep disturbance and PTSD receiving a group sleep intervention (SAASI). Further investigation in a properly powered RCT with detailed retention planning is indicated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted - 11 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • PTSD severity
  • sleep disturbance
  • adolescents
  • sleep intervention
  • task-shifting
  • brief intervention
  • group interveniton
  • sleep quality

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