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Feasibility and acceptability of Problem Management Plus (PM+) among Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland: a mixed-method pilot randomized controlled trial

Spaaij, Julia, Kiselev, Nikolai, Berger, Christine, Bryant, Richard A., Cuijpers, Pim, De Graaff, Anne M., Fuhr, Daniela C., Hemmo, Mahmoud, McDaid, David ORCID: 0000-0003-0744-2664, Moergeli, Hanspeter, Park, A-La, Pfaltz, Monique C., Schick, Matthis, Schnyder, Ulrich, Wenger, Anna, Sijbrandij, Marit and Morina, Naser (2022) Feasibility and acceptability of Problem Management Plus (PM+) among Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland: a mixed-method pilot randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 13 (1). ISSN 2000-8198

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Identification Number: 10.1080/20008198.2021.2002027

Abstract

Background: Syrian refugees in Switzerland face several barriers in accessing mental health care. Cost-effective psychological interventions are urgently needed to meet the mental health needs of refugees. Problem Management Plus (PM+) is an evidence-based, psychological intervention delivered by trained non-specialist ‘helpers’. Objective: To assess the feasibility and acceptability of PM+ among Syrian refugees in Switzerland. Methods: We conducted a single-blind pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) with Syrian refugees impaired by psychological distress (K10 > 15 and WHODAS 2.0 > 16). Participants were randomized to PM+ or Enhanced Treatment As Usual (ETAU). Participants were assessed at baseline, and 1 week and 3 months after the intervention, and completed measures indexing mental health problems and health care usage. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with different stakeholders. Results: N = 59 individuals were randomized into PM+ (n = 31) or ETAU (n = 28). N = 18 stakeholders were interviewed about facilitators and barriers for the implementation of PM+. Retention rates in the trial (67.8%) and mean intervention attendance (M = 3.94 sessions, SD = 1.97) were high. No severe events related to the study were reported. These findings indicate that the trial procedures and PM+ were feasible, acceptable and safe. Conclusions: The findings support the conduct of a definitive RCT and show that PM+ might have the potential to be scaled-up in Switzerland. The importance, as well as the challenges, of implementing and scaling-up PM+ in high-income countries, such as Switzerland, are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/zept20
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2022 15:15
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2022 00:09
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/113591

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