Navigation Links
Civilians trained by American mental health professionals bring healing to traumatized victims of Libya's civil war, Baylor study finds
Date:12/12/2013

Civilians traumatized by Libya's civil war in 2011 which left many homeless, poor and grieving have virtually no access to mental health professionals, but many have found healing through small groups led by Libyan volunteers who were trained by American professionals, according to a Baylor University study.

The finding has implications for traumatized people elsewhere, including in Somalia and Ethiopia, where similar efforts have begun; and in Egypt and Uganda, where such training is to begin soon, said Matthew Stanford, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences, who led the research. The study is published online in the South African Journal of Psychology.

"The American Psychological Association over the past few years has called for psychologists to develop new ways to deliver mental health services, because there simply aren't enough providers in the United States and it's even worse elsewhere," Stanford said. "Taking basic therapeutic principles and putting them into a format peers can deliver has been very effective."

In November 2012, shortly after the eight-month war's end, Stanford and a team from Acts of Mercy International, a Christian relief organization, traveled to Libya and found an inadequate mental health system fewer than 30 psychiatrists and no licensed psychologists or social workers in a country of more than 6 million people.

Libyans are struggling to cope with the aftermath of the war as well as 42 years under the brutal rule of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, a regime in which many were tortured or systematically raped. As many as 15,000 Libyans were killed and more than 50,000 injured in the war, and thousands live as "internally displaced persons (IDPs)" in camps throughout the country, Stanford said.

Team members focused on a camp for about 2,500 people near Benghazi. They recruited 10 volunteer civilians, who completed an intensive four-hour training including lectures and role-playing translated into Arabic and led by Acts of Mercy International staff. The peer-led "Hope Groups" met regularly for 10 weeks with 149 participants in 17 groups of friends and relatives in the camp. The average group size was eight people.

After 10 weeks, members anonymously completed the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist, a 17-item self-report broadly used within the mental health community. The report showed that the groups were helpful, with interaction among members, and most of the civilian leaders said they felt they could successfully train someone else to be a leader.

While prior research has shown that outcomes through mutual help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous are comparable to much more costly professional treatments, use of peer-led groups for war-related trauma in civilians had not been investigated until the Baylor study.

"A lot of times, people think, 'I'm just going to tough it out.' But sometimes, that's just not possible," Stanford said.

While the program's content was simplified, it was challenging for translators unfamiliar with mental health concepts.

But "despite cultural and language differences, there are a lot of universal things that cut across cultures," Stanford said. "In an ideal world, the people would be seeing licensed therapists and getting medications, but this is different. It's simplified, but they do get a dramatic reduction in symptoms."

In the sessions, participants learned about such common symptoms of trauma as depression, sleep problems, anger and guilt. They learned ways to cope with crises and rebuild emotional closeness that had been disrupted by trauma.

For leaders, overseeing groups has "really given them a purpose," Stanford said. "They want to be trained as leaders in towns that have been destroyed and go to other camps and begin training others. That's what you hope for that they'll take ownership of it."


'/>"/>

Contact: Terry Goodrich
terry_goodrich@baylor.edu
254-710-3321
Baylor University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study explores the impact of corruption and military organization on civilians
2. Aeromedevac Now Providing Air Ambulance Service with the Top Trained Personnel in the Industry
3. Study shows people can be trained to be more compassionate
4. Williamsburg, VA Periodontist, Dr. Michael Schroer, is Trained and Now Treating Patients with the Advanced Laser Gum Surgery for Gum Disease Treatment
5. Trained Beagle Sniffs Out Troublesome Hospital Infection
6. Residents as Good as Fully Trained Docs if Properly Supervised: Study
7. 2014 American Heart Association Go Red for Women Chair Natalie Baro
8. Local Campaign to Educate African American Women on Increased Risk of Breast Cancer
9. Foundation Financial Group Will Give the Gift of Blood This Holiday Season via an American Red Cross Blood Drive
10. Majority of Americans avoid addressing end-of-life issues, according to new study
11. American Lamb: A Time-Honored Tradition for the Holiday Table
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... ... Patients who want to receive cosmetic dentistry procedures such as Invisalign® or ... a consultation, with or without a referral. Dr. Bedich enjoys improving the appearance of ... Dr. Bedich offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry services at his practice that are ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... reproductive tract in which the endometrial lining of the uterus spreads into ... pain. Patients experiencing painful intercourse, painful periods, pelvic pain, or irregular bleeding ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... the practice is offering holistic pediatric dentistry options for its patients on Long ... of the patient’s entire physical well being, and is one of the biggest ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Technique, technique, technique – with a dash of common sense. ... training and exercise or simply lifting heavy objects, advises Dr. Kaliq Chang, interventional pain ... Chang says. “Improper technique in lifting anything heavy or an attempt to lift too ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Allegheny Health Network ... The Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Women’s Behavioral Health at West Penn Hospital ... western Pennsylvania for women suffering from pregnancy-related depression. Construction of the Center is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... , May 10, 2017 Global Health Intelligence ... Latin America , published its 2017 ranking of ... is based on extensive data analysis from GHI,s hospitals ... hospitals database for the region. The GHI database covers 86% ... offering more than 130 data points for each institution in ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... , May 9, 2017  Demonstrating its ... board of directors for the Pharmaceutical Research and ... for membership. Biopharmaceutical companies will now have to ... order to be eligible to join PhRMA. ... the board is sending a clear message that ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... Texas , May 5, 2017   Provista , ... with more than 200,000 customers, today announced Jim Cunniff ... a wealth of executive and business experience to Provista, including ... compounding pharmacy in California . He assumed ... "Jim is a great fit for Provista," says ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: