Can Asylum-Seekers with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Be Successfully Treated? A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

Rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are exceptionally high among asylum-seekers. Reportedly, stressors caused by the asylum procedure and psychological consequences of torture contribute to the maintenance of symptoms and interfere with treatment. In a pilot randomized controlled trial, the authors examined the efficacy of trauma-focused treatment in 32 asylum-seekers with PTSD resulting from state-sponsored violence and other traumatic events. Narrative exposure therapy (NET) was compared with treatment as usual (TAU), with a focus on stabilization and psychoactive medication.

Care as a turning point in sociotherapy: Remaking the moral world in post-genocide Rwanda

Community-based sociotherapy was introduced in Rwanda in 2005 in order to contribute to the healing of social worlds that were severely damaged by war and genocide. People who participate in sociotherapy perceive this intervention as medicine for their troubled hearts. Each sociotherapy group, averaging twelve people, holds fifteen weekly meetings. Two facilitators guide the group through six different phases: safety, trust, care, respect, new rules, and memory.

Building social capital and improving mental health care to prevent suicide

This month’s issue of the IJE carries three articles, and accompanying commentaries, on the theme of suicide.

Beyond borders

As frontiers close and migration is increasingly criminalized, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement strives for a ‘response without distinction’ to legal status and relief along the perilous path

Asylum seekers'perspectives on their mental health and views on health and social services: contributions for service provision using a mixed-methods approach

The literature tends to use ‘asylum seeker’ and ‘refugee’ interchangeably, creating uncertainty about the mental health of asylum seekers. However, asylum seekers occupy a unique position in British society which differentiates them from people with refugee status and which may have implications for their mental health. For example, ‘asylum seekers’ are supported and accommodated in dispersal areas under the National Asylum Support Service and they are not entitled to work.

A cluster randomised trial of the community effectiveness of two interventions in rural Malawi to improve health care and to reduce maternal, newborn and infant mortality

BACKGROUND: The UN Millennium Development Goals call for substantial reductions in maternal and child mortality, to be achieved through reductions in morbidity and mortality during pregnancy, delivery, postpartum and early childhood. The MaiMwana Project aims to test community-based interventions that tackle maternal and child health problems through increasing awareness and local action.METHODS/DESIGN: This study uses a two-by-two factorial cluster-randomised controlled trial design to test the impact of two interventions.

How qualitative information helped to shape quantitative research instruments in Rwanda

Rwanda experienced extreme violence and genocide during a three month period starting in April 1994. In the northern regions, there had been ongoing violence since 1990. Many inhabitants still suffer emotionally from the consequences of this era. We performed a quantitative study to measure the effectiveness of sociotherapy; a community based psychosocial intervention carried out in northern Rwanda.

Association of torture and other potentially traumatic events with mental health outcomes among populations exposed to mass conflict and displacement: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Context Uncertainties continue about the roles that methodological factors and key risk factors, particularly torture and other potentially traumatic events (PTEs), play in the variation of reported prevalence rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression across epidemiologic surveys among postconflict populations worldwide.
Objective To undertake a systematic review and meta-regression of the prevalence rates of PTSD and depression in the refugee and postconflict mental health field.

Severe mental disorders in complex emergencies

People with severe mental disorders are a neglected and vulnerable group in complex emergencies. Here, we describe field experiences in establishing mental health services in five humanitarian settings. We show data to quantify the issue, and suggest reasons for this neglect. We then outline the actions needed to establish services in these settings, including the provision of practical training, medication, psychosocial supports, and, when appropriate, work with traditional healers.

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