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The Treatment of Traumatised Refugees With Sertraline Versus Venlafaxine in Combination With Psychotherapy

Information source: Psychiatric Center Ballerup
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; Depression

Intervention: Venlafaxine (Drug); Sertraline (Drug)

Phase: Phase 4

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Charlotte Sonne

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Charlotte K Sonne, MD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Psychiatric Center Ballerup


Background: The treatment of traumatised refugees is one of the areas within the field of psychiatry with the weakest evidence for the different types of treatment. This is a problem for both patients and doctors as well as for society. The treatment of choice today for Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) is antidepressants from the subgroup of Selektive Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), among these the drug Sertraline. The evidence for the use of these drugs as treatment for chronically complex PTSD in traumatised refugees is however very limited and a large part of the group is estimated to be insufficiently treated with this type of medicine. Venlafaxine is an antidepressant from the subgroup of dual action product which means that is works on several pathways in the brain. Among others it influences the area in the brain that is responsible for the enhanced anxiety and hyperarousal experienced by traumatised refugees and which is found to be enlarged among patients suffering from PTSD. All together there is not sufficient evidence to conclude which type of medical and psychological treatment that is most efficient when it comes to the treatment of traumatised refugees. Also there is a lack of studies which examines social functioning and the relation between psychosocial resources and outcome from treatment. Furthermore there is a lack of knowledge of predictors of treatment outcome for the individual patients. This study seeks to produce some of this evidence. Method: This study is expected to include approximately 150 patients randomised into two different groups. The patients are treated with Setraline or Venlafaxine depending on the group the randomised to. Patients in both groups are getting the same version of manual based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that is specially adapted to this group of patients. The treatment period is 6-7 month. The trial endpoints are PTSD-and depression symptoms and social functioning all measured on internationally validated ratings scales. Furthermore the study will examine the relation between expected outcome of treatment from a range of predictors and the actual treatment results for the individual patient. Results: Altogether this study will bring forward new standards for clinical evaluation and treatment of traumatised refugees and the results are expected to be used in reference programmes/clinical guidelines.

Clinical Details

Official title: The Treatment of Traumatised Refugees With Sertraline Versus Venlafaxine in Combination With Psychotherapy - a Randomised Clinical Study

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ)

Secondary outcome:

Hopkins Symptom Check List (HSCL-25)

Social Adjustment Scale Self Report (SAS-SR) short version

Hamilton Depresssion Scale (17 items)

Hamilton Anxiety Scale (14 items)

Detailed description: Please see the summary above


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: N/A. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Patients referred to treatment in Psychiatric Clinic for refugees, Psychiatric Center

Ballerup between April 2012 to May 2013

- Adults (18 years or older)

- Refugees or reunified with a refugee spouse

- Symptoms of PTSD defined by ICD-10 research criterias.

- Previosly traumatized

- Motivated for treatment

- Informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

- Psychotic disorder (ICD-10 diagnosis F2x og F30. 1-F309)

- Active substance abuse (ICD-10 F1x. 24-F1x. 26).

- In need of acute admission to psychiatric hospital)

- No informed consent

- Pregnant women, breastfeeding women or women who wish to become pregnant within the

project period.

Locations and Contacts

Competence Center for Transcultural Psychiatry, Gentofte 2900, Denmark
Additional Information

Starting date: April 2012
Last updated: March 3, 2015

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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