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Maudsley Hospital: young volunteers needed to help develop PTSD treatment app

The Maudsley Hospital is looking for young volunteers to take part in a study about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Staff at the south London hospital are part of a team looking to develop an app that will give people with PTSD therapy, with the aim to be just as effective as face-t0-face treatment.

The app was developed before Covid-19 hit, with many young people already on long waiting lists for treatment for mental health problems even before the pandemic. The aim is to cut waiting times for people who need therapy and make treatment more convenient and accessible for youngsters.

Young people between the ages of 12-17 are being invited to come forward. The study will take place in south London, Cambridge, East Anglia and Oxford, but people from all over England can refer themselves.

Dr Patrick Smith, a consultant psychologist at the Maudsley Hospital’s child and adolescent trauma anxiety and depression clinic, was part of the team that developed the app.

“The new app was designed with input from young people and includes all the components of the face-to-face therapy which evidence shows does help young patients recover.,” he said. “The app and website are personalised to respond to the particular needs and circumstances of the young person using them. A named therapist calls the young person at least once a week over the course of the 12 week programme to provide help and support.”

Dr Smith, who is also research director for the King’s College Hospital doctorate in clinical psychology, added: “It is important that PTSD symptoms are addressed during adolescence as this is a time when young people are developing skills essential to building and maintaining friendships and relationships; as well as facing exams that will have a significant impact on their opportunities and choices in life.”

Researchers from King’s College London, Oxford University, Cambridge University and the University of East Anglia also helped develop the app.

For more information and to volunteer visit


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