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Confl Health ; 14(1): 71, 2020 Oct 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33292413


Major knowledge gaps remain concerning the most effective ways to address mental health and psychosocial needs of populations affected by humanitarian crises. The Research for Health in Humanitarian Crisis (R2HC) program aims to strengthen humanitarian health practice and policy through research. As a significant portion of R2HC's research has focused on mental health and psychosocial support interventions, the program has been interested in strengthening a community of practice in this field. Following a meeting between grantees, we set out to provide an overview of the R2HC portfolio, and draw lessons learned. In this paper, we discuss the mental health and psychosocial support-focused research projects funded by R2HC; review the implications of initial findings from this research portfolio; and highlight four remaining knowledge gaps in this field. Between 2014 and 2019, R2HC funded 18 academic-practitioner partnerships focused on mental health and psychosocial support, comprising 38% of the overall portfolio (18 of 48 projects) at a value of approximately 7.2 million GBP. All projects have focused on evaluating the impact of interventions. In line with consensus-based recommendations to consider a wide range of mental health and psychosocial needs in humanitarian settings, research projects have evaluated diverse interventions. Findings so far have both challenged and confirmed widely-held assumptions about the effectiveness of mental health and psychosocial interventions in humanitarian settings. They point to the importance of building effective, sustained, and diverse partnerships between scholars, humanitarian practitioners, and funders, to ensure long-term program improvements and appropriate evidence-informed decision making. Further research needs to fill knowledge gaps regarding how to: scale-up interventions that have been found to be effective (e.g., questions related to integration across sectors, adaptation of interventions across different contexts, and optimal care systems); address neglected mental health conditions and populations (e.g., elderly, people with disabilities, sexual minorities, people with severe, pre-existing mental disorders); build on available local resources and supports (e.g., how to build on traditional, religious healing and community-wide social support practices); and ensure equity, quality, fidelity, and sustainability for interventions in real-world contexts (e.g., answering questions about how interventions from controlled studies can be transferred to more representative humanitarian contexts).

Lancet Glob Health ; 8(2): e254-e263, 2020 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31981556


BACKGROUND: Innovative solutions are required to provide mental health support at scale in low-resource humanitarian contexts. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of a facilitator-guided, group-based, self-help intervention (Self-Help Plus) to reduce psychological distress in female refugees. METHODS: We did a cluster randomised trial in rural refugee settlements in northern Uganda. Participants were female South Sudanese refugees with at least moderate levels of psychological distress (cutoff ≥5 on the Kessler 6). The intervention comprised access to usual care and five 2-h audio-recorded stress-management workshops (20-30 refugees) led by briefly trained lay facilitators, accompanied by an illustrated self-help book. Villages were randomly assigned to either intervention (Self-Help Plus or enhanced usual care) on a 1:1 basis. Within 14 villages, randomly selected households were approached. Screening of women in households continued until 20-30 eligible participants were identified per site. The primary outcome was individual psychological distress, assessed using the Kessler 6 symptom checklist 1 week before, 1 week after, and 3 months after intervention, in the intention-to-treat population. All outcomes were measured at the individual (rather than cluster) level. Secondary outcomes included personally identified problems, post-traumatic stress, depression symptoms, feelings of anger, social interactions with other ethnic groups, functional impairment, and subjective wellbeing. Assessors were masked to allocation. This trial was prospectively registered at ISRCTN, number 50148022. FINDINGS: Of 694 eligible participants (331 Self-Help Plus, 363 enhanced usual care), 613 (88%) completed all assessments. Compared with controls, we found stronger improvements for Self-Help Plus on psychological distress 3 months post intervention (ß -1·20, 95% CI -2·33 to -0·08; p=0·04; d -0·26). We also found larger improvements for Self-Help Plus 3 months post-intervention for five of eight secondary outcomes (effect size range -0·30 to -0·36). Refugees with different trauma exposure, length of time in settlements, and initial psychological distress benefited similarly. With regard to safety considerations, the independent data safety management board responded to six adverse events, and none were evaluated to be concerns in response to the intervention. INTERPRETATION: Self-Help Plus is an innovative, facilitator-guided, group-based self-help intervention that can be rapidly deployed to large numbers of participants, and resulted in meaningful reductions in psychological distress at 3 months among South Sudanese female refugees. FUNDING: Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) Programme.

Depressão/epidemiologia , Depressão/terapia , Psicoterapia/métodos , Refugiados/psicologia , Autocuidado/métodos , Estresse Psicológico/epidemiologia , Estresse Psicológico/terapia , Adulto , Análise por Conglomerados , Feminino , Humanos , Refugiados/estatística & dados numéricos , Autocuidado/estatística & dados numéricos , Uganda , Adulto Jovem