Principal Investigator: Michael Pluess, Queen Mary University of London
How can we overcome common barriers to mental health service access and deliver psychological treatment to children in humanitarian settings? This study, conducted in Lebanon with Syrian refugee children, used both qualitative and quantitative methods to look at effectiveness, feasibility and accessibility of a telephone-based mental health service.
Most Syrian refugee families living in settlements in Lebanon face barriers to accessing healthcare and support, including mental health services. However, most have access to a mobile phone which provides an opportunity for accessing therapy remotely. This study examined whether an existing evidence-based treatment – Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) – adapted for delivery over the phone (t-CETA) could overcome these barriers.
The team found that t-CETA was feasible, acceptable, and reduced symptoms of mental health problems in children, while helping to overcome access barriers. Findings show that phone-based mental health services may be a promising solution for providing mental health support to refugee children in crisis settings. A larger trial could strengthen these findings and improve understanding of efficacy.
Feasibility and acceptability:
Overcoming access barriers:
The study team also produced practical guidance to support humanitarian actors in delivering telephone-based mental health services, to help overcome common challenges that can arise during service delivery.
After surveying more than 1,000 families in Lebanon, the team found that many of them agreed to a referral for mental health services but more than half did not enrol into treatment. They went back to ask why.View
In this blog we describe the t-CETA project and provide first impression of providing CETA face-to-face by our team in the field in Lebanon.View
The team created a free online resource for mental health services now looking to deliver psychological therapy remotely to children amid the current Covid-19 pandemic.View
Details of the study have been posted on the MHIN Innovations database
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