Medline ® Abstract for Reference 31
of 'Sleepwalking and other parasomnias in children'
Treatment of chronic nightmares in adjudicated adolescent girls in a residential facility.
Krakow B, Sandoval D, Schrader R, Keuhne B, McBride L, Yau CL, Tandberg D
J Adolesc Health. 2001 Aug;29(2):94-100.
PURPOSE: To evaluate imagery rehearsal therapy for the treatment of chronic nightmares in a sample of adolescent girls.
METHODS: Adolescent girls ranging in age from 13 to 18 years were recruited from the Wyoming Girls School in Sheridan, Wyoming (treatment group, n = 9; control group, n = 10). These girls had previously suffered a high prevalence of unwanted sexual experiences in childhood and adolescence, and thus many suffered from nightmares, sleep complaints, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Imagery rehearsal therapy was provided in a 1-day (6-h) workshop. Imagery rehearsal consists of three steps, all of which are performed in the waking state: (a) select a nightmare, (b) "change the nightmare any way you wish," and (c) rehearse the images of the new version ("new dream") 5 to 20 min each day. Control participants received no intervention.
RESULTS: At baseline, these girls had been suffering from nightmares, on average, for 4.5 years, and they reported experiencing 20 nightmares per month, which occurred at a frequency of at least one bad dream every other night. At 3 months, self-reported, retrospectively assessed nightmare frequency measured in nights per month decreased 57% (p =.01, d = 1.4) and measured in nightmares per month decreased 71% (p =.01, d = 1.7) in the treatment group, compared with no significant changes in the control group. No significant changes were noted for sleep and posttraumatic stress disorder measures in either group.
CONCLUSION: Imagery rehearsal therapy was an effective treatment option for chronic nightmares in this adjudicated adolescent population.
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