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The effect of a low-level psychological intervention (PM+) on post-migration living difficulties – Results from two studies in Switzerland and in the Netherlands

Spaaij, Julia, De Graaff, Anne M., Akhtar, Aemal, Kiselev, Nikolai, McDaid, David ORCID: 0000-0003-0744-2664, Moergeli, Hanspeter, Pfaltz, Monique c., Schick, Matthis, Schnyder, Ulrich, Bryant, Richard a., Cuijpers, Pim, Sijbrandij, Marit and Morina, Naser (2023) The effect of a low-level psychological intervention (PM+) on post-migration living difficulties – Results from two studies in Switzerland and in the Netherlands. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 127. ISSN 0010-440X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2023.152421

Abstract

Aims of the study After arriving in host countries, most refugees are confronted with numerous post-migration stressors (e.g., separation from family, discrimination, and employment difficulties). Post-migration living difficulties (PMLDs) significantly contribute to the development and persistence of mental disorders. Effective treatment approaches focusing on reducing post-migration stress are urgently needed. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of a brief psychological intervention, Problem Management Plus (PM+), on PMLDs among Syrian refugees in two European countries. Methods We merged data from two single-blind feasibility trials with Syrian refugees experiencing elevated levels of psychological distress and impaired functioning in Switzerland (N = 59) and the Netherlands (N = 60). Participants were randomised to receive either five sessions of PM+ or an enhanced care-as-usual control condition. PMLDs were assessed at baseline and 3 months after the intervention. To estimate treatment effect on PMLD, linear mixed model analysis was performed. Results Three months after the intervention, participants in the PM+ condition reported significantly fewer PMLDs compared to the control condition. Further analyses at item-level showed that interpersonal and family related PMLDs, such as “worries about family back home” significantly improved over time in the PM+ condition. Conclusions This exploratory study suggests that brief psychological interventions have the potential to reduce PMLDs in refugees and asylum seekers. The reduction of post-migration stress in turn may subsequently lead to an overall reduction in psychological distress. Clinical Trial Numbers: BASEC Nr. 2017–0117 (Swiss trial) and NL61361.029.17, 7 September 2017 (Dutch trial).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2023 11:00
Last Modified: 26 May 2024 16:24
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/120256

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