Identification, modification, and implementation of an evidence-based psychotherapy for children in a low-income country: the use of TF-CBT in Zambia

Author: 
Murray, L., Dorsey, S., Skavenski, S., Kasoma, M., Imasiku, M., Bolton, P., Bass, J., Cohen, J.

This article is open-access and can be found at the link provided.

Abstract

Background

The need to address the treatment gap in mental health services in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is well recognized and particularly neglected among children and adolescents. Recent literature with adult populations suggests that evidence-based mental health treatments are effective, feasible, and cross-culturally modifiable for use in LMIC. This paper addresses a gap in the literature documenting pre-trial processes. We describe the process of selecting an intervention to meet the needs of a particular population and the process of cross-cultural adaptation.

Methods

Community-based participatory research principles were implemented for intervention selection, including joint meetings with stakeholders, review of qualitative research, and review of the literature. Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) was chosen as the evidence-based practice for modification and feasibility testing. The TF-CBT adaptation process, rooted within an apprenticeship model of training and supervision, is presented. Clinical case notes were reviewed to document modifications.

Results

Choosing an intervention can work as a collaborative process with community involvement. Results also show that modifications were focused primarily on implementation techniques rather than changes in TF-CBT core elements.

Conclusions

Studies documenting implementation processes are critical to understanding why intervention choices are made and how the adaptations are generated in global mental health. More articles are needed on how to implement evidence-based treatments in LMIC.

Keywords: 

Child trauma, Evidence-based treatment, Implementation; International, Low-resource setting