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

RESUMO

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).

2.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31940865

RESUMO

Psychological first aid (PFA) is a world-wide implemented approach to helping people affected by an emergency, disaster, or other adverse event. Controlled evaluations of PFA's training effects are lacking. We evaluated the effectiveness of a one-day PFA training on the acquisition and retention of knowledge of appropriate responses and skills in the acute aftermath of adversity in Peripheral Health Units (PHUs) in post-Ebola Sierra Leone. Secondary outcomes were professional quality of life, confidence in supporting a distressed person, and professional attitude. PHUs in Sierra Leone (n = 129) were cluster-randomized across PFA (206 participants) and control (202 participants) in March 2017. Knowledge and understanding of psychosocial support principles and skills were measured with a questionnaire and two patient scenarios to which participants described helpful responses. Professional attitude, confidence, and professional quality of life were assessed using self-report instruments. Assessments took place at baseline and at three- and six-months post-baseline. The PFA group had a stronger increase in PFA knowledge and understanding at the post-PFA training assessment (d = 0.50; p < 0.001) and at follow-up (d = 0.43; p = 0.001). In addition, the PFA group showed better responses to the scenarios at six-months follow-up (d = 0.38; p = 0.0002) but not at the post-assessment (d = 0.04; p = 0.26). No overall significant differences were found for professional attitude, confidence, and professional quality of life. In conclusion, PFA training improved acquisition and retention of knowledge and understanding of appropriate psychosocial responses and skills in providing support to individuals exposed to acute adversity. Our data support the use of PFA trainings to strengthen capacity for psychosocial support in contexts of disaster and humanitarian crisis. Future studies should examine the effects of PFA on psychosocial outcomes for people affected by crises.


Assuntos
Atenção à Saúde/organização & administração , Desastres , Primeiros Socorros/psicologia , Pessoal de Saúde/educação , Pessoal de Saúde/psicologia , Psicoterapia/métodos , Qualidade de Vida/psicologia , Adulto , Feminino , Conhecimentos, Atitudes e Prática em Saúde , Humanos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Serra Leoa , Inquéritos e Questionários
4.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31143466

RESUMO

Background: In emergencies and resource-poor settings, non-specialists are increasingly being trained to provide psychosocial support to people in distress, with Psychological First Aid (PFA) one of the most widely-used approaches. This paper considers the effectiveness of short training programmes to equip volunteers to provide psychosocial support in emergencies, focusing particularly on whether the PFA training provided during the Ebola outbreak enabled non-specialists to incorporate the key principles into their practice. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted in Sierra Leone and Liberia with 24 PFA trainers; 36 individuals who participated in PFA training; and 12 key informants involved in planning and implementing the PFA roll-out. Results: Findings indicate that many PFA training-of-trainers were short and rarely included content designed to develop training skills. As a result, the PFA training delivered was of variable quality. PFA providers had a good understanding of active listening, but responses to a person in distress were less consistent with the guidance in the PFA training or with the principles of effective interventions outlined by Hobfoll et al. Conclusions: There are advantages to training non-specialists to provide psychosocial support during emergencies, and PFA has all the elements of an effective approach. However, the very short training programmes which have been used to train non-specialists in PFA might be appropriate for participants who already bring a set of relevant skills to the training, but for others it is insufficient. Government/NGO standardisation of PFA training and integration in national emergency response structures and systems could strengthen in-country capacity.

5.
Eur J Psychotraumatol ; 8(sup2): 1388102, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29163867

RESUMO

The crisis in Syria has resulted in vast numbers of refugees seeking asylum in Syria's neighbouring countries as well as in Europe. Refugees are at considerable risk of developing common mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most refugees do not have access to mental health services for these problems because of multiple barriers in national and refugee specific health systems, including limited availability of mental health professionals. To counter some of challenges arising from limited mental health system capacity the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a range of scalable psychological interventions aimed at reducing psychological distress and improving functioning in people living in communities affected by adversity. These interventions, including Problem Management Plus (PM+) and its variants, are intended to be delivered through individual or group face-to-face or smartphone formats by lay, non-professional people who have not received specialized mental health training, We provide an evidence-based rationale for the use of the scalable PM+ oriented programmes being adapted for Syrian refugees and provide information on the newly launched STRENGTHS programme for adapting, testing and scaling up of PM+ in various modalities in both neighbouring and European countries hosting Syrian refugees.

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