Psychotherapy to treat consequences of interpersonal violence suffered during childhood and adolescence in Latin America: A systematic review

Psicoterapia para tratar consecuencias de la violencia interpersonal sufrida en la infancia y adolescencia en Latinoamérica: una revisión sistemática

Cristobal Guerra , Emily P. Taylor , Catalina Meza , Montserrat Otazo , Katherine Urrutia , Catalina Cáceres , Javiera Limbergher , Valeria Rodriguez , Montserrat Sepulveda , Costian Barraza , Karla Miranda ,
Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, (2023), 55, pp. 274-286.
Received 22 May 2023
Accepted 12 December 2023


Introducción/objetivo: tal como en el resto del mundo, en Latinoamérica existe una alta prevalencia de violencia interpersonal en la infancia y adolescencia que se asocia a consecuencias psicológicas a corto, mediano y largo plazo. Internacionalmente se ha avanzado en el reconocimiento de psicoterapias basadas en la evidencia, pero se desconoce la situación de Latinoamérica. El objetivo de esta revisión sistemática es identificar cuales modelos o modalidades de psicoterapia han mostrado efectividad en Latinoamérica. Método: se realizó una búsqueda sistemática en cinco bases de datos con términos de búsqueda relacionados con intervenciones psicosociales para personas expuestos a violencia interpersonal en la infancia en Latinoamérica. Se excluyeron los estudios sobre poblaciones latinas radicadas en Estados Unidos. Resultados: se reconocieron 13 intervenciones y un estudio de seguimiento en los que se evalúa la efectividad de distintos modelos (cognitivo conductuales y con influencia psicodinámica). Aunque en todos ellos se muestran cambios clínica o estadísticamente significativos en sintomatología de estrés postraumático, ansiedad y depresión, en su gran mayoría se trata de estudios piloto con importantes limitaciones metodológicas. Conclusiones: se considera necesario avanzar en la elaboración de estudios más robustos (ej. ensayos clínicos controlados y aleatorizados) que otorguen evidencia más sólida de la efectividad de las intervenciones en el contexto cultural latinoamericano.

Palabras clave:
Psicoterapia, violencia, trauma, niñez, América Latina


Introduction/Objective: As in the rest of the world, in Latin America there is a high prevalence of interpersonal violence (IV) in childhood and adolescence, which is associated with psychological consequences in the short, medium and long term. At the international level, progress has been made in the recognition of evidence-based psychotherapies, but the situation in Latin America is unknown. The objective of this systematic literature review is to identify which psychotherapy models or modalities have been shown to be effective in Latin America. Methods: A systematic search of five databases was carried out with search terms relating to psychosocial interventions of people exposed to IV during childhood, based in Latin America. Studies regarding Latino populations based in United States were excluded. Results: 14 papers describing 13 studies and one follow-up were identified. Individual and group interventions (mainly cognitive-behavioural and with psychodynamic influence) were included. Although all showed clinically or statistically significant changes in symptoms of post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression, most were pilot studies with important methodological limitations and a high risk of bias. Conclusions: It is necessary to develop clinical practice in Latin America with more robust research (i.e., controlled and randomised clinical trials) that produce more reliable evidence regarding the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for IV involving children and adolescents in the Latin American context.

Psychotherapy, violence, trauma, childhood, Latin America

Artículo Completo

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