Psychological therapies for the treatment of mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries affected by humanitarian crises

Added November 27, 2018

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There is low quality evidence that psychological therapies have large or moderate effects in reducing PTSD, depressive, and anxiety symptoms in adults living in humanitarian settings in LMICs.

Adults and children and adolescents living in humanitarian contexts (such as in the aftermath of a crisis triggered by natural hazards) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are exposed to multifaceted stressors that make them more vulnerable to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, anxiety, and other negative psychological outcomes. The evidence from this review supports the approach of providing psychological therapies to populations affected by humanitarian crises, although no studies were identified which looked at the effectiveness or acceptability of psychological therapies for depressive and anxiety symptoms beyond six months. Only a small proportion of included trials reported data on children and adolescents, which provided very low-quality evidence of greater benefit derived from psychological treatments.