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Dr Laura Jobson (Monash University)


To improve the psychological functioning of adolescent refugees using a low-intensity, low-resource training; MEmory Training for Recovery-Adolescents (METRA).

Specifically, we aim to:

  1.  Investigate the efficacy of METRA in improving psychological symptoms (posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, well-being) in adolescent refugees.
  2. Investigate the feasibility and appropriateness of METRA for refugee adolescents delivered by local NGOs in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) humanitarian contexts.
  3. Examine the mechanisms mediating treatment effects.
  4. Include a cost-analysis of METRA in LMIC humanitarian contexts.

Dr Laura Jobson

Co-Principal Investigator

Adolescent refugees in low and middle-income countries experience concerning levels of psychological distress. Very few of these adolescents receive evidence-based interventions, due to high costs, limited mental health services and a shortage of skilled professionals. We are excited by this project that further develops our MEmory Training for Recovery-Adolescent; a low-intensity intervention.

Expected Outcomes

This project aims to produce METRA, a training programme that is:

  1. Low intensity and can be made widely and freely available. This is important because most evidence-based trauma-focused interventions are complex, high-intensity, require highly-skilled therapists, expensive to deliver, and associated with high drop-outs. Thus, they are difficult to implement in humanitarian contexts.
  2. Transdiagnostsic. We are targeting cognitive processes driving on-going depression and PTSD.
  3. Can be delivered by local staff with very minimal training required.
  4. Has included community input. At each stage of METRA’s development we have included community to ensure high user and provider motivation and satisfaction. On-going community and stakeholder input ensure joint partnership and a long-term focus.

These outputs will contribute to improved mental health outcomes for adolescents affected by humanitarian crises. Families and communities should also benefit as psychological distress in adolescents impacts on parents and families.

Related Resources

Article, Peer Reviewed Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Prevalence of Poor Mental Health Among Adolescents in Kabul, Afghanistan

Article, Peer Reviewed Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Investigating the Feasibility, Acceptability and Efficacy of Using Modified-Written Exposure Therapy in the Aftermath of a Terrorist Attack on Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Among Afghan Adolescent Girls

Article, Peer Reviewed Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Effect of the Memory Training for Recovery-Adolescent Intervention vs Treatment as Usual on Psychiatric Symptoms Among Adolescent Girls in Afghanistan: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Article, Peer Reviewed Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Examining MEmory Training for Recovery-Adolescent among Afghan adolescent boys: a pilot randomised controlled trial

Latest Updates

Location change from Afghanistan to Iraq

Jun 2022

The change in government in Afghanistan brought about many challenges for this study. Although several smaller studies were able to be conducted, the difficulty transferring funds to Afghanistan ultimately meant the study needed to relocate. Kirkuk in Iraq was chosen.


Media article published

Mar 2023

Media article published outlining the trial in HBC Live


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