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Mental health interventions for children in adversity: Pilot-testing a research strategy for treatment selection in low-income settings


  • Jordans, M.J.D.
  • Tol, W.A.
  • Komproe, I.H.


This study aimed to develop a research strategy to make informed decisions for intervention selection, especially for low- and middle-income countries, as a response to the urgent need to scale-up mental health care for children globally. With this study we address the critical lack of translation of research findings into policy and practice. The research strategy was piloted for development of a family-based intervention in violence-affected areas in Burundi. The research comprised four phases; (a) a qualitative phase to assess needs and determine tentative intervention objectives; (b) a global expert panel to identify and prioritize intervention modalities for low-resource settings; (c) systematic literature review and distillation of practice elements from evidence-based treatments; and (d) stakeholder meetings to explore social-cultural feasibility and acceptability of the developed intervention. The study was conducted between January and November 2010. The research strategy resulted in the development of a stepped family-based care intervention, which combines community mobilization, parent-management training and cognitive behavior therapy elements. This pilot-tested research strategy, encompassing global and local knowledge on needs, feasibility and effectiveness, has the potential to be useful for developing mental health and psychosocial interventions in other settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordans, M.J.D. & Tol, W.A. & Komproe, I.H., 2011. "Mental health interventions for children in adversity: Pilot-testing a research strategy for treatment selection in low-income settings," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 456-466, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:3:p:456-466

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Behague, Dominique & Tawiah, Charlotte & Rosato, Mikey & Some, Télésphore & Morrison, Joanna, 2009. "Evidence-based policy-making: The implications of globally-applicable research for context-specific problem-solving in developing countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 1539-1546, November.
    2. Miller, Kenneth E. & Rasmussen, Andrew, 2010. "War exposure, daily stressors, and mental health in conflict and post-conflict settings: Bridging the divide between trauma-focused and psychosocial frameworks," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 7-16, January.
    3. Farhood, Laila & Zurayk, Huda & Chaya, Monique & Saadeh, Fadia & Meshefedjian, Garbis & Sidani, Thuraya, 1993. "The impact of war on the physical and mental health of the family: The Lebanese experience," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 1555-1567, June.
    4. Theobald, Sally & Nhlema-Simwaka, Bertha, 2008. "The research, policy and practice interface: Reflections on using applied social research to promote equity in health in Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 760-770, September.
    5. Summerfield, Derek, 1999. "A critique of seven assumptions behind psychological trauma programmes in war-affected areas," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(10), pages 1449-1462, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Burkey, Matthew D. & Ghimire, Lajina & Adhikari, Ramesh Prasad & Wissow, Lawrence S. & Jordans, Mark J.D. & Kohrt, Brandon A., 2016. "The ecocultural context and child behavior problems: A qualitative analysis in rural Nepal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 73-82.


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