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NCT ID: NCT03763591 Recruiting - Clinical trials for Stress, Psychological

Psychological Skills Group for Youth of Refugee and Immigrant Backgrounds

Start date: March 28, 2019
Phase: N/A
Study type: Interventional

There are currently 28 million child refugees worldwide - approximately 1 in every 200 children on earth. To date, nearly one million forcibly displaced child migrants have been resettled in the United States. It is well documented that refugee and immigrant youth, especially forcibly displaced ethnic and cultural minority youth, present with alarmingly high rates of stress-related psychiatric illness (e.g., PTSD, depression, anxiety) and are grossly underserved by current mental health, medical, and social services. Previous research found that in a sample of 144 Somali refugee children resettled in the United States, only 8% of those who met full clinical criteria for PTSD received any mental health services. Through a process of community-based participatory research with refugee and immigrant communities and stake-holders the investigators have developed a multi-tiered psychological and systems intervention for refugee youth and families, Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees (TST-R), that includes community outreach and advocacy, group psychological treatment, office-based psychotherapy, and home-based services. Whereas TST-R is one of the only empirically-based behavioral health treatment models for refugee youth, it has only been studied as a full intervention model; financial and staffing resource barriers have limited the wide-spread adoption of the model. This obstacle noted, implementing one high-impact component of this multi-tier intervention (i.e., protocol-driven group treatments) may provide significant benefit while also being easily scalable. Implementing time-limited (i.e., 10 week) manual-based group psychological interventions focused on culturally-responsive strategies to support refugee youth with, and at-risk for, PTSD, depression, and anxiety, may be an efficient and cost effective means of (1) reducing psychiatric symptoms for refugee and migrant youth with present symptoms, (2) preventing symptom onset for those at risk, and (3) enhancing cultural identity self-concept, subjective social belongingness, and psychological resilience (e.g., ability to thrive in the context of adversity). Furthermore, if effective, treatment groups can importantly function as a destigmatizing treatment gateway and triage to other services for youth who require a higher level of care (e.g., individual psychotherapy and medication management).