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There is robust evidence that compromised parenting, stemming from persistently high stress, mediates the impact of war and displacement on children's mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. Parenting interventions generally prioritize the acquisition of parenting knowledge and skills, while under-attending to parental stress and distress. This paper describes the development of the Caregiver Support Intervention (CSI), a nine-session group intervention for conflict-affected parents of children aged 3–13, that aims to strengthen parenting both indirectly, by lowering stress and improving psychosocial wellbeing among parents, and directly, by increasing knowledge and skill related to positive parenting.
We describe the multi-phase, iterative process by which we developed the CSI, and illustrate the essential role of community input in shaping the intervention and strengthening its cultural fit and perceived usefulness. We used focus group data from participants in successive cycles of implementation, feedback, and revision, as well as quantitative data and expert consultation to develop a culturally and empirically grounded intervention.
This mixed-method, iterative approach to intervention development enabled us to develop a psychosocial intervention for conflict-affected caregivers that is feasible, acceptable, and perceived by participants as useful in addressing their own wellbeing and their parenting. Focus group data support the underlying model in which caregiver wellbeing powerfully influences parenting.
Programs aimed at strengthening parenting in conflict-affected communities should substantively address caregiver wellbeing. An iterative approach incorporating community feedback can help ensure intervention acceptability and feasibility. We also illustrate the feasibility of involving men in parenting interventions.
A principal strategy for the integration of mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings is the training of front-line workers in international consensus-based guidelines.
This paper presents a pilot study evaluating changes in knowledge and understanding as a result of a brief training course in Nepal.
Evaluation questionnaires were distributed to participants in two-day courses (n = 109) before, directly after, and at two months following completion.
The course resulted in a post-training increase in correct answers of 21%, which further increased to 25% at two months.
A short training course based on widely endorsed guidelines to front-line staff can significantly increase mental health literacy for complex emergencies. While promising, the trend of knowledge gain is modest at most, and suggests a need for more intensive or more targeted training courses.
Jordans MJD, Luitel NP, Poudyal B, Tol WA, Komproe IH. Evaluation of a brief training on mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies: a pre- and post-assessment in Nepal. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(3):1-4.
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