• Counselling in humanitarian settings: a retrospective analysis of 18 individual-focused non-specialised counselling programmes

      Shanks, L; Ariti, C; Siddiqui, R; Pintaldi, G; Venis, S; de Jong, K; Denault, M (BioMed Central, 2013-09-16)
      Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) provides individual counselling interventions in medical humanitarian programmes in contexts affected by conflict and violence. Although mental health and psychosocial interventions are a common part of the humanitarian response, little is known about how the profile and outcomes for individuals seeking care differs across contexts. We did a retrospective analysis of routine programme data to determine who accessed MSF counselling services and why, and the individual and programmatic risk factors for poor outcomes.
    • Monitoring and Evaluating Psychosocial Intervention Outcomes in Humanitarian Aid

      de Jong, K; Ariti, C; van der Kam, S; Mooren, T; Shanks, L; Pintaldi, G; Kleber, R (Public Library of Science, 2016-06-17)
      Existing tools for evaluating psychosocial interventions (un-validated self-reporting questionnaires) are not ideal for use in non-Western conflict settings. We implement a generic method of treatment evaluation, using client and counsellor feedback, in 18 projects in non-Western humanitarian settings. We discuss our findings from the perspective of validity and suggestions for future research. A retrospective analysis is executed using data gathered from psychosocial projects. Clients (n = 7,058) complete two (complaints and functioning) rating scales each session and counsellors rate the client's status at exit. The client-completed pre- and post-intervention rating scales show substantial changes. Counsellor evaluation of the clients' status shows a similar trend in improvement. All three multivariable models for each separate scale have similar associations between the scales and the investigated variables despite different cultural settings. The validity is good. Limitations are: ratings give only a general impression and clinical risk factors are not measured. Potential ceiling effects may influence change of scales. The intra and inter-rater reliability of the counsellors' rating is not assessed. The focus on client and counsellor perspectives to evaluate treatment outcome seems a strong alternative for evaluation instruments frequently used in psychosocial programming. The session client rated scales helps client and counsellor to set mutual treatment objectives and reduce drop-out risk. Further research should test the scales against a cross-cultural valid gold standard to obtain insight into their clinical relevance.
    • Validation of mental health screening instruments in the Kashmir Valley, India

      Housen, T; Lenglet, A; Ariti, C; Ara, S; Shah, S; Dar, M; Hussain, A; Paul, A; Wagay, Z; Viney, K; et al. (SAGE Publications, 2018-03-19)
      The present study aimed to culturally adapt, translate, and validate the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 (HSCL-25) and the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire-Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Checklist (HTQ-16) prior to use in a cross-sectional mental health population survey in the Kashmir Valley. Cultural adaptation and translation of the HSCL-25 and the HTQ-16 employed multiple forms of transcultural validity check. The HSCL-25 and HTQ-16 were compared against a "gold standard" structured psychiatric interview, the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Interviews were conducted with 290 respondents recruited using consecutive sampling from general medical outpatient departments in five districts of the Kashmir Valley. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was used to estimate the cut point with optimal discriminatory power based on sensitivity and specificity. Internal reliability of the HSCL-25 was high, Cronbach's alpha (α) = .92, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) = 0.75, with an estimated optimal cut point of 1.50, lower than the conventional cut point of 1.75. Separation of the instruments into subscales demonstrated a difference in the estimated cut point for the anxiety subscale and the depression subscale, 1.75 and 1.57, respectively. Too few respondents were diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during structured psychiatric interview, and therefore the HTQ-16 could not be validated despite the fact that high internal reliability was demonstrated (α = .90). This study verified the importance of culturally adapting and validating screening instruments in particular contexts. The use of the conventional cut point of 1.75 would likely have misclassified depression in our survey, leading to an underestimate of this condition.