A new digital mental health intervention, Step-by-Step, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) with the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) at the Ministry of Public Health Lebanon and other partners, was effective in reducing depression among Syrian refugees in Lebanon, according to a study published in PLOS Medicine.
The study, a randomised controlled trial, supported by R2HC, was conducted among Syrians suffering from depression and impaired functioning in Lebanon. It found that people who received the digital intervention with remote guidance from trained non-specialist helpers were significantly less depressed and had significantly better functioning after the intervention compared with those who received enhanced usual care in the control group. People who received Step-by-Step also showed improvements in symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress, well-being and personal problems, with all improvements maintained at 3-month follow-up. This study supports results from a parallel trial of Step-by-Step with Lebanese and other populations living in Lebanon, which showed similar positive results.
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