The applicant is a clinical psychologist whose overall research aim is to link the results of primary research to everyday clinical practice in order to guide mental health care professionals to take evidence-based decisions in promoting human wellbeing. To reach this objective it is necessary to synthesize randomized evidence on the effectiveness of clinical interventions using rigorous standards. The specific research objective of the proposed plan focuses on the effects of psychosocial interventions for children exposed to traumatic events in humanitarian settings in low and middle income countries (HS-LMIC). Literature in this field shows potential effectiveness of such interventions but currently available evidence needs to be strengthened by more rigorous evidence-based evaluation and implementation programs. The proposed research aims to assess the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for children exposed to traumatic events in HS-LMIC. Additionally, the study will examine whether clinical and socio-demographic characteristics, trauma-related variables, and cultural aspects may act as moderators of treatment effect. Finally, evidence-based profiles on the treatments of this specific population will be developed.
In relation to the aforementioned research aims, the educational part of the proposal includes: 1) a specific training in the evaluation of psychosocial interventions for children exposed to traumatic events in HS-LMIC in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; 2) a specific advanced training in evidence-based mental health, research methodology, and epidemiology in the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health and Service Evaluation, Section of Psychiatry, University of Verona, Verona. The expected results have the potential to provide a strong rationale for implementation and large-scale preventive programs worldwide.
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