What is a study?

What is psychotherapy?

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

Do I need to be able to speak German to participate in the study?
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No, all aspects of treatment (doctor appointments, parenting program, telephone calls) and data collection (interviews, questionnaires) are in Arabic or English.

Can both parents participate in the study?
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Unfortunately, only one parent can participate in the study. However, parents can work together on the online parenting program. The program benefits the whole family.

Can parents with several children participate?
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Yes. It is just important that one of the children is younger than 7 years old. The online program focuses specifically on this age range. All children benefit from the treatment.

Does my child have to participate in the study?
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No, all aspects of the treatment (doctor appointments, parenting program, telephone calls) and data collection (interviews, questionnaires) are conducted only with the participating parent. The treatment will, nevertheless, indirectly benefit your child.

Is the treatment in any way dangerous, harmful, or painful?
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No. The treatment's primary focus is the conversations with the general practitioner and the online program with accompanying telephone calls. The data collection consists mainly of interviews, questionnaires, and the taking of a small hair sample twice. You are not going to be exposed to pain or risks in any way.

We are looking for study participants

We're looking for distressed parents who have young children (0-6-year-olds)

By participating in the study, we can help you restore your well-being and nourish your child’s development and their positive relationship with you.

You will learn with us how to deal with stressful situations using specific techniques. You will also acquire parenting methods that you can easily apply in everyday life, making it easier to care for your children.

Are you interested in participating in the study?

By participating, you can do something good for yourself and your family and assist us with helping other refugee families in the future!


Refugee parents can participate if they meet the following criteria:

• having young children (ages 0-6),

• feeling distressed: this includes experiencing stress or anxiety in various situations, feeling sad or depressed, or being withdrawn and having less pleasure in activities that you used to enjoy,

• speaking Arabic, and

• living in one of the following locations: Bochum, Munich


Participation in the study is free of charge.

You will receive remuneration for participation in our surveys.

Study procedures

We want to compare the medical treatment already being offered in Germany with the Improve treatment through our study. With both treatment options, we want to help you improve your and your children's well-being. Whether you receive the Improve Treatment, or the usual medical treatment will be chosen randomly.

If you decide to participate in the study, we will need information from you at various times. We will collect this information through interviews with you. You will also have to complete questionnaires before and after the treatment about how the treatment helped you.

Screening and inclusion in the study
Before treatment
Interviews und questionnaires
10-week treatment and accompanying data collection
Random assignment to IMPROVE treatment or usual treatment
The Improve treatment consists of
• four appointments with your general practitioner where you will receive information on how to manage your symptoms
• an online parenting program that can be done from home, where you strengthen your positive relationship with your child
• accompanying telephone calls with an Arabic-speaking psychologist who will help you in applying what have learned to your everyday life

Usual treatment includes
• the usual treatment by your general practitioner, e.g., medical examinations, medication, or referral.
After the treatment
Interviews and questionnaires
3 months after treatment
Interviews and questionnaires
6 months after treatment
Interviews and questionnaires





Karim Zagha
+49 (0) 234 32 23816


PD Dr. phil. Karoline Lukaschek
+49 (0) 089 4400 535 20

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