• Enhancing Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) with Parenting Skills: RCT of TRT + Parenting with Trauma-Affected Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Utilising Remote Training with Implications for Insecure Contexts and COVID-19

      El-Khani, Aala; email: Aala.el-khani@un.org; Cartwright, Kim; email: Kim.Cartwright@gmmh.nhs.uk; Maalouf, Wadih; email: Wadih.maalouf@un.org; Haar, Karin; orcid: 0000-0001-7833-5976; email: Karin.haar@un.org; Zehra, Nosheen; email: Nosheen_zehra130@hotmail.com; Çokamay-Yılmaz, Gökçe; email: Gokce.Cokamay@gmmh.nhs.uk; Calam, Rachel; email: Rachel.calam@manchester.ac.uk (MDPI, 2021-08-16)
      Child psychosocial recovery interventions in humanitarian contexts often overlook the significant effect that caregivers can have on improving children’s future trajectory. We enhanced the well-established, evidenced-based child trauma recovery programme Teaching Recovery Techniques (TRT) intervention with parenting sessions, i.e., TRT + Parenting (TRT + P), which aims to improve parent mental health and their ability to support their children’s mental health. We describe the findings of a three-arm randomised controlled trial comparing enhanced TRT + P vs. TRT and waitlist. The primary aim was to test if children in the enhanced arm of the programme show improved child and caregiver mental health. We recruited 119 Syrian refugee children and one of their caregivers in Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. They were randomised to the TRT, TRT + P, or waitlist control group. Data were collected at baseline and 2 weeks and 12 weeks post intervention. Training of facilitators was via remote training from the United Kingdom. Results showed a highly consistent pattern, with children in the enhanced TRT + P group showing the greatest levels of improvement in behavioural and emotional difficulties compared to children in the TRT or waitlist control groups. Caregivers in the TRT + P group also reported significant reductions in depression, anxiety, and stress. Findings indicate that the addition of the evidence-based parenting skills components has the potential to enhance the effects of interventions designed to improve children’s mental health in contexts of trauma, conflict, and displacement. Implications for COVID-19 remote learning are also discussed.