Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
  • The emerging evidence for Narrative Exposure Therapy: a review

    29 June 2018

    Individuals who have experienced multiple traumatic events over long periods as a result of war, conflict and organised violence, may represent a unique group amongst PTSD patients in terms of psychological and neurobiological sequelae. Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) is a short-term therapy for individuals who have PTSD symptoms as a result of these types of traumatic experiences. Originally developed for use in low-income countries, it has since been used to treat asylum seekers and refugees in high-income settings. The treatment involves emotional exposure to the memories of traumatic events and the reorganisation of these memories into a coherent chronological narrative. This review of all the currently available literature investigates the effectiveness of NET in treatment trials of adults and also of KIDNET, an adapted version for children. Results from treatment trials in adults have demonstrated the superiority of NET in reducing PTSD symptoms compared with other therapeutic approaches. Most trials demonstrated that further improvements had been made at follow-up suggesting sustained change. Treatment trials of KIDNET have shown its effectiveness in reducing PTSD amongst children. Emerging evidence suggests that NET is an effective treatment for PTSD in individuals who have been traumatised by conflict and organised violence, even in settings that remain volatile and insecure

  • The impact of recurrent abdominal pain: predictors of outcome in a large population cohort

    29 June 2018

    AIM: Recurrent abdominal pain is one of the commonest complaints of childhood, affecting approximately 10% of children at any one time. This study aims to describe the outcome of recurrent abdominal pain amongst 6-year-old children, and to identify risk factors (in both the children and their parents), which predict these outcomes. METHODS: 7128 6-year-old children in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) were followed up for 1 year. The principle outcomes were abdominal pain, number of days missed from school in the preceding year and psychiatric diagnoses. RESULTS: Children with recurrent abdominal pain at age 6 years had higher rates of further abdominal pain [odds ratio 4.88 (95% CI: 4.01, 5.95)], school absence (10 or more days off school in a year) [OR 1.89 (1.53, 2.33)] and anxiety disorders [OR 2.36 (1.68, 3.32)] at age 7 years. Maternal anxiety was the most consistent predictor of subsequent adverse outcomes for these children. CONCLUSION: Children with recurrent abdominal pain are at significant and continuing risk of adverse functioning. It is important for clinicians to take a whole family perspective, and particularly to consider parental anxiety, when a child with recurrent abdominal pain presents to them

  • Mental health of displaced and refugee children resettled in high-income countries: risk and protective factors

    29 June 2018

    We undertook a systematic search and review of individual, family, community, and societal risk and protective factors for mental health in children and adolescents who are forcibly displaced to high-income countries. Exposure to violence has been shown to be a key risk factor, whereas stable settlement and social support in the host country have a positive effect on the child's psychological functioning. Further research is needed to identify the relevant processes, contexts, and interplay between the many predictor variables hitherto identified as affecting mental health vulnerability and resilience. Research designs are needed that enable longitudinal investigation of individual, community, and societal contexts, rather than designs restricted to investigation of the associations between adverse exposures and psychological symptoms. We emphasise the need to develop comprehensive policies to ensure a rapid resolution of asylum claims and the effective integration of internally displaced and refugee children

  • Mental health of displaced and refugee children resettled in low-income and middle-income countries: risk and protective factors

    3 July 2018

    Children and adolescents who are forcibly displaced represent almost half the world's internally displaced and refugee populations. We undertook a two-part systematic search and review of the evidence-base for individual, family, community, and societal risk and protective factors for the mental health outcomes of children and adolescents. Here we review data for displacement to low-income and middle-income settings. We draw together the main findings from reports to identify important issues and establish recommendations for future work. We draw attention to exposure to violence as a well established risk factor for poor mental health. We note the paucity of research into predictor variables other than those in the individual domain and the neglect of other variables for the assessment of causal associations, including potential mediators and moderators identifiable in longitudinal work. We conclude with research and policy recommendations to guide the development and assessment of effective interventions

  • Mental health needs of migrants in the South East region

    29 June 2018

    Mental health, more than any other health issue, was identified by survey respondents as a significant problem for migrant populations, and no respondents judged it as ‘not a problem’. In this chapter, a brief literature review summarises the limited research previously undertaken into the mental health of migrants, in addition to key issues identified for black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. Sources of operational data from NHS mental health services are then outlined. The quality and scope of quantitative data has improved over the past five years, although the information available in the public domain is still limited to ethnicity rather than country of birth. Finally, qualitative data illustrates the extent of unmet mental health needs across all migrant groups, and highlights asylum seekers, children and irregular migrants as being particularly vulnerable.