Aims and benefits
Although refugees in Germany are at high risk to suffer from psychological stress or mental illness, only a fraction of those affected receive appropriate psychotherapeutic treatment. The I-Reach consortium aims to close this gap by developing both easily accessible and culturally adapted diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions.
Already prior to the actual therapy, psychotherapeutic treatment is often complicated by the scarcity of diagnostic instruments that are suitable in terms of language and culture. Subproject 1 will therefore develop a culture-sensitive diagnostic tool in several languages to assess the presence of mental health disorders in refugees (see SP1).
Subproject 2 deals with the cultural and contextual adaptation of a transdiagnostic intervention, to be offered both online and face-to-face for refugees suffering from trauma-related symptoms (see SP2).
Is online therapy actually effective? This will be evaluated in another subproject when the effectiveness of the online intervention is compared with its face-to-face equivalent (see SP3). Moreover, the suitability of the online intervention as a supplement to inpatient treatment will be assessed in cooperation with a network of German hospitals (see SP4). Finally, the 4 sub-projects mentioned above will be reviewed with regard to their cost effectiveness.
- Development and evaluation of a culture-sensitive online screening tool to examine mental health in refugees
- Deployment of a culture-sensitive transdiagnostic intervention for Arabic-speaking refugees, both online and face-to-face
- Evaluation of the efficacy and suitability of CETA as (1) face-to-face treatment, (2) app-based intervention and (3) app-based supplement to inpatient treatment.
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Until February 2024
SP1: Development of an online tool to assess psychological distress in refugees
Reliable and culturally adjusted psychodiagnostic instruments (e.g. questionnaires, standardised interviews) are urgently needed in the psychosocial care of and research with refugees. Therefore, subproject 1 develops and evaluates a modular, online-based tool providing free and open source psychodiagnostics instruments in the languages most relevant to the current refugee population.
SP2: Developing a transdiagnostic (online-) intervention for refugees in Germany
This subproject comprises the cultural adaptation of a transdiagnostic treatment program for Arabic-speaking refugees in Germany. The „Common Elements Treatment Approach“ (short: CETA) addresses psychological problems that are particularly common in refugees (e.g. anxiety, trauma-related symptoms). Next, a digital equivalent of the CETA intervention will be developed in cooperation with refugees and other relevant stakeholders: the ALMAMAR-App.
SP3: Internet-based versus face-to-face transdiagnostic treatment for mental health problems in Arabic-speaking refugees
The subproject I-REACH SP3 investigates the effectiveness of a psychotherapeutic treatment for Arabic-speaking refugees and migrants, which is being applied for the first time in the German context. The intervention called ALMAMAR is either delivered internet-based or face-to-face. In the study we want to find out whether this intervention helps Arabic-speaking people who suffer from psychological stress.
SP4: Implementation of the ALMAMAR app for refugees in inpatient psychiatric care
The subproject I-REACH SP4 investigates the implementation of a blended-care approach in inpatient psychiatric-psychotherapeutic care of refugees with mental illness. With blended-care we describe the combination of face-to-face treatment and parallel use of internet-based therapeutic elements. For this purpose, internet-based psychotherapeutic elements in the mother tongue are offered in addition to treatment as usual in the participating psychiatric clinics for Arabic and Farsi speaking patients (intervention group). Acceptance and satisfaction are evaluated with the offered treatment and treatment results are compared to a control group (treatment as usual).