Community-based cross-cultural adaptation of mental health measures in emergency settings: validating the IES-R and HSCL-37A in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
ABSTRACT This study aims at providing qualitative and quantitative evidence on the relevance of two broadly used mental health self-report measures--Impact of Event Scale Revised (IES-R) and Hopkins Symptom Checklist 37 for Adolescents (HSCL-37A)--for use in Eastern Democratic of Congo, as no psychological assessment instruments were available for this region. We therefore describe an apt procedure to adapt and translate standard screening instruments in close collaboration with the local community, feasible under challenging conditions in emergency settings.
Focus groups and interviews with community key figures in psychosocial care were employed to ensure local validity of the adaptation and translation process. Consequently, the questionnaires' internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) and construct validity (principal component analysis, testing of theoretical assumptions) were assessed based on a clustered school-based community survey among 1,046 adolescents (13-21 years) involving 13 secondary schools in the Ituri district in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Key-informant qualitative data confirmed face and construct validity of all IES-R and all HSCL-37A anxiety items. Additional culture-specific symptoms of adolescent mental ill-health were added to enhance local relevance of the HSCL-37A depression and externalizing subscales. Quantitative analysis of the survey data revealed adequate internal consistency and construct validity of both adapted measures, yet weaker results for the externalizing scale. Furthermore, it confirmed the internalizing/externalizing factor structure of the HSCL-37A and the theoretically deviating intrusion/arousal versus active avoidance factor structure for the IES-R.
Community-based adaptation can extend the validity and local relevance of mental health screening in emergency and low-income settings. The availability of adequate Swahili and Congolese French adaptations of the IES-R and HSCL-37A could stimulate the assessment of psychosocial needs in war-exposed Eastern Congolese adolescents.
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ABSTRACT: Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) are known to be subjected to several potentially traumatic life events, risking more mental health problems than other populations of same age. In this study, we aimed to explore the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity at an early stage after arrival to the host country. We performed structured clinical interviews (CIDI) with 160 male UASC from different countries (Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran), after four months in Norway. Most of the participants had experienced life threatening events (82%), physical abuse (78%), or loss of a close relative (78%) in their former life. Altogether 41.9% of the participants fulfilled diagnostic criteria for a current psychiatric disorder. The most prevalent diagnosis was PTSD (30, 6%), followed by MDD (9, 4%), Agoraphobia (4, 4%) and GAD (3, 8%). Implications of this vulnerability call for more mental health resources in the early stages of the asylum process. Increased awareness of psychiatric morbidity in UASC may improve the prognosis, give more appropriate care, and ease the integration process on all levels of society.Clinical practice and epidemiology in mental health : CP & EMH. 06/2014; 10:53-8.
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ABSTRACT: The association between attachment and mental health symptoms in adolescents in a post-conflict low resource setting has not been documented. We investigated the relationship between parent and peer attachment and posttraumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms in a sample of 551 adolescents aged 13-21 years old. Attachment quality was assessed using the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA). Post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed using the Impact of Events Scale Revised (IESR) and Hopkins Symptom Checklist for Adolescents (HSCL-37A) respectively. Gender differences in attachment relationships were determined using independent t-tests. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess whether attachment relationships were independently associated with posttraumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted to explore the moderating role of war-related trauma. Our analyses revealed gender differences in attachment to parents, with males reporting stronger attachment than females. Parental attachment was protective against depression and anxiety symptoms but not posttraumatic stress symptoms after adjusting for potential confounders. Alienation by parents was independently associated with an increase in these mental health symptoms while peer attachment was not associated with any of these symptoms. However, in situations of severe trauma, our analyses showed that peer attachment was significantly protective against post-traumatic stress symptoms. Secure parental attachment is associated with better psychosocial adjustment in adolescents affected by war. Further, adolescents with secure peer attachment relationships in situations of severe war trauma may be less likely to develop posttraumatic stress symptoms. Interventions to enhance peer support in this post conflict setting would benefit this vulnerable population.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e88494. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In Sub Saharan Africa, there has been limited research on instruments to identify specific mental disorders in children in conflict-affected settings. This study evaluates the psychometric properties of three self-report scales for child mental disorder in order to inform an emerging child mental health programme in post-conflict Burundi. Trained lay interviewers administered local language versions of three self-report scales, the Depression Self-Rating Scale (DSRS), the Child PSTD Symptom Scale (CPSS) and the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED-41), to a sample of 65 primary school children in Burundi. The test scores were compared with an external 'gold standard' criterion: the outcomes of a comprehensive semistructured clinical psychiatric interview for children according the DSM-IV criteria (the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children - K-SADS-PL). The DSRS has an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.85 with a confidence interval (c.i.) of 0.73-0.97. With a cut-off point of 19, the sensitivity was 0.64, and the specificity was 0.88. For the CPSS, with a cut-off point of 26, the AUC was 0.78 (c.i.: 0.62-0.95) with a sensitivity of 0.71 and a specificity of 0.83. The AUC for the SCARED-41, with a cut-off point of 44, was 0.69 (c.i.: 0.54-0.84) with a sensitivity of 0.55 and a specificity of 0.90. The DSRS and CPSS showed good utility in detecting depressive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder in Burundian children, but cut-off points had to be put considerably higher than in western norm populations. The psychometric properties of the SCARED-41 to identify anxiety disorders were less strong. The DSRS and CPSS have acceptable properties, and they could be used in clinical practice as part of a two-stage screening procedure in public mental health programmes in Burundi and in similar cultural and linguistic settings in the African Great Lakes region.BMC Psychiatry 02/2014; 14(1):36. · 2.23 Impact Factor