Treatment of PTSD in people with severe intellectual disabilities: a case series

E.H.M. Mevissen-Renckens, R. Lievegoed, A. Seubert, A. de Jongh

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: There is a dearth of information regarding the treatment of PTSD in people with severe intellectual disabilities (ID). The purpose of the present case studies was to assess the applicability and effects of an evidence-based treatment method for psychological trauma with this population.

Methods: The treatment of four single cases with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was evaluated. Participants included adults and children with a variety of symptoms, as well as different histories of negative life events.

Results: In all cases PTSD symptoms decreased. In all but one case, the gains were maintained at 15.5 months to 2.5 years following treatment. Depressive symptoms and physical complaints diminished and social and adaptive skills improved.

Conclusion: EMDR seems to be an applicable treatment method for clients with severe ID. Reduction and maintenance of PTSD symptoms in individuals with severe ID appears to be both desirable and obtainable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-232
JournalDevelopmental Neurorehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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