Evaluation of Phone-Delivered Psychotherapy for Refugee Children
Grant awarded: 383,552
Lead organisation: Queen Mary University of London
Partnering organisations: Médecins du Monde, Lebanon; American University of Beirut, Lebanon; Johns Hopkins University, USA; Medical School Hamburg, Germany
Study locations: Refugee settlements in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Principal Investigator: Dr Michael Pluess
Many children in war-affected settings with a need for psychological treatment don’t have access to mental health services. Humanitarian health organisations working in these settings tend to be confronted with many obstacles, including lack of funding to set up new mental health services, difficulties in recruiting qualified local staff, and restricted access of the refugee population to primary health care centres. These challenges are difficult to address with conventional mental health services, which tend to be provided by mental health specialists in centralised primary health care centres. In order to overcome these hurdles, this project will adapt and evaluate the existing transdiagnostic psychological treatment programme CETA (Common Elements Treatment Approach) for the delivery by trained lay counsellors over phone. If found to be effective, telephone-delivered CETA (t-CETA) will facilitate the provision of psychological intervention for children in humanitarian emergency and other low-resource settings with limited access to mental health services.
This project will produce a detailed manual and training materials for a telephone-delivered psychological intervention (t-CETA) as well as empirical data on the efficacy of t-CETA in comparison to face-to-face CETA and treatment as usual (randomised controlled trial). Besides producing manuals, reports and scientific publications, we will also organise workshops in Lebanon and the United Kingdom to introduce t-CETA and provide information on its implementation to interested academics, clinicians, organisations and agencies.